A white Christmas? Not so much

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 31, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; The last time the Miss-Lou had visions of a white Christmas was in 2000, when a storm system that formed in the Gulf of Mexico was supposed to move right into the area with several inches of snow.

Instead, that system gave snow to Hattiesburg, the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans &045; yes, New Orleans. The Miss-Lou had to wait until the night of Dec. 31 of that year and the early morning hours of Jan. 1, 2001, to finally see the snowflakes fall from the sky.

It may very well end up happening again this year.

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Although there were earlier indications, at least from forecasts on The Weather Channel, of a white Christmas this year, it appears that won’t happen now.

Over the weekend, it had in its seven-day forecast predicted snow flurries on Christmas Eve, then just a couple of days ago forecasted that there would be a light wintry mix.

Accuweather meteorologist Bob Smerbeck said on Wednesday after the rain and thunderstorms associated with a low-pressure center moving out of Texas and a strong Arctic cold front clear the Miss-Lou, the temperature will take a nose-dive.

&uot;By (this) morning it will be near freezing,&uot; Smerbeck said. &uot;It will be cold and blustery with a high temperature only getting up to the mid-30s.&uot;

And with the wind blowing out of the north-northwest at up to 25 miles per hour, that will put the wind chill factor in the teens to low 20s for much of the day.

But all of this depends on the track of a disturbance that is forecast to move across the northern Gulf of Mexico &045; two days after the Arctic cold front had already moved through the area with bitterly cold temperatures &045; and how far north the wintry mix ends up being.

But chances are it will only get as close to the Miss-Lou as St. Francisville, La. &045; if it gets that far north.

However, Smerbeck said this system will probably be too far south in the Gulf to really affect the Miss-Lou at all.

&uot;New Orleans and Biloxi have a better chance of getting a mix of rain, sleet and snow,&uot; Smerbeck said. &uot;You have a small chance of getting a snow flurry in the late afternoon into the evening (on Christmas Eve). You will have clouds from this system.

But one thing is for sure &045; it will get very cold in the Miss-Lou, something this area hasn’t seen or felt much of since that winter four years ago.

How cold? Try highs in the 30s for today, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and low temperatures well down in the teens, especially on Christmas morning.

as it could get as low as 12 degrees.