HAZARDOUS WEATHER AHEAD: Dangerous cold to follow thunderstorms  

Published 12:32 pm Thursday, January 11, 2024

NATCHEZ — Dangerously cold weather will soon follow the slight risk of severe weather Friday morning, beginning on Monday, Jan. 15, after a weekend of clear to partly cloudy skies.

The National Weather Service states there’s a possibility of severe weather early Friday as the next storm system moves across the area, the worst expected to begin around 4 a.m. and last through 9 a.m.

“Damaging winds up to 70 miles-per-hour and quarter-size hail are possible with any severe storms that develop. Tornadoes can’t be ruled out,” NWS states.

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Then on Monday, temperatures are expected to drop down to 36 degrees and below with the low around 13 degrees.

Monday night could bring freezing rain before 9 p.m. and then a chance of sleet after 3 a.m.

The cold continues through Tuesday with a high of 31 degrees and a low of around 18 degrees.

Daniel Lamb, a forecaster with the NWS Jackson office said a fold front moving through the region late Sunday will bring a prolonged temperature decline as we head into early next week.

“For the Natchez area, you should see temperatures decline Monday morning and remain very cold through Wednesday morning,” he said. “At the lowest, it gets into the teens Tuesday and Wednesday mornings with the wind chill potentially falling a degree or two below Zero.”

Lamb said this is “exceptionally cold” for the region, and “not the type of cold we see every winter.”

The problem with these temperatures lasting over an extended period through Monday and Tuesday into Wednesday is that it could cause infrastructure problems, especially to homes with exposed pipes, Lamb said.

Taking a moment to cover and wrap exposed pipes with insulation this weekend could prevent freezing and bursting come Monday.

“Now is a good time to make preparations around your house to protect your pipes from freezing,” he said.

As for indoor piping in cabinets or closets that don’t get heat from the home, it might be a good idea to leave cabinets open so that warmer air will get to them or leave a slow trickle of water going during the coldest nights to prevent them from freezing up.

Now is also the time to make sure that neighbors and pets have a warm place to go.

“If people are out in this type of cold, you have a risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Pets as well,” Lamb said. “Outdoor pets will need a place to keep warm.”