Residents wake up to unexpected snowfall

Published 10:42 am Saturday, January 19, 2008

NATCHEZ — Snowman 101 isn’t a class most Natchez children have had.

Until now, that is.

And for their first try, the children of the area did a little improvisation.

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The smallest of the snowmen were only inches high. The tallest, miraculously, were three or four feet.

But what they wore made them special.

Bikinis, camouflage hats, polka-dotted fur coats, blonde wigs and even authentic deer antlers decorated the snowmen and snowwomen that lived short lives Saturday morning before warmer temperatures and rainfall took them away.

But it was enough snow to make the day of many who’d never even seen a flake before.

“My mom woke me up and said, ‘Guess what, it’s snowing,’” 9-year-old Kade Cox said. “I said, ‘Is this a dream or something?’”

Cox had never seen snow, much less built his own snowman.

“I started making it one way and said, ‘Awh, that’s not going to work,’” he said. “It was fun, but I don’t think the snowman is real good.”

Cox’s knee-high creation wore pennies for eyes, sticks for arms and a baseball cap up top. He gathered snow from his entire yard to build the man.

The snowfall was unexpected for everyone, including the National Weather Service.

“What we predicted was rain,” senior meteorologist Mike Edmonston said. “We didn’t expect the little band of heavy snow that sat on the (U.S.) 84 corridor.”

Reports of two inches of snow from Franklin County were the biggest for Southwest Mississippi, but any was plenty in Natchez.

The last snow most folks in town remember was Dec. 31, 2000. Then, the flakes started falling around 10:30 p.m. By morning, some had accumulated, but no more than Saturday’s snow. And it too was quickly gone.

Snow just isn’t a part of recent history in Natchez, though some adults remember things differently from the 1960s and 70s.

“When I was a kid growing up it seemed like we got it every few years,” Natchez resident Curtis Moroney said. “We had some that were bigger than this.

“But now, I can’t remember the last time we had a snow we could really get out and play in. It does not snow nearly as often as it did in the 60s and 70s.”

The chances for more snow this year are slim too, Edmonston said.

Temperatures were predicted to drop into the 20s Saturday night, with more rain coming Monday and Tuesday nights. The wetness will come and go for the next week, but snow isn’t predicted, he said.

Click on the link at left to see images of residents enjoying Saturday’s snowfall that turned the Miss-Lou into a winter wonderland.