The potential exists for a mix of wintry weather to impact Jones County beginning mid-morning on Thursday and continuing into Friday morning. The Jones County Emergency Management Agency hosted a National Weather Service web-based teleconference this afternoon and were advised of the following:
- Light snow flurries mixed with some small sleet pellets are possible tonight into early Thursday morning as very light rain passes over Jones County. No accumulation is expected from this event.
- By mid-morning on Thursday, rainfall is expected to begin moving into Jones County again where temperatures may already be at or near the freezing mark. If so, a combination of freezing rain and sleet will be possible. At this time, there is a high degree of uncertainty as to whether the temperature will be above or below freezing. The worst case scenario would be that the temperature is at or below freezing when the rainfall begins leading to ice accumulations on elevated structures such as overpasses, bridges, power lines and trees. If this were the case, then ice accumulations of ¼” to ½” would be possible.
- Additional rainfall is forecast to impact the area on Thursday night; however, temperatures may begin to rise where precipitation would be mainly rain possibly mixed with some sleet and freezing rain.
- By Friday mid-morning, temperatures should be above freezing alleviating any potential issues with sleet or freezing rain.
- There is a possibility that the National Weather Service office in Jackson will issue a Winter Storm Watch on Thursday morning. The NWS has greater confidence that freezing rain, sleet and snow will impact areas north and west of the Interstate 59 corridor and less confidence that areas along the Interstate 59 corridor will be heavily impacted by the wintry mix. However, if the temperature falls below the freezing mark there could be a greater impact to Jones County.
- Residents are urged to pay attention to weather watches, warnings and statements and drive carefully when crossing bridges and overpasses that may have ice accumulations.
- Residents are urged to take extra precautions to ensure their safety when using appliances for heating their homes such as space heaters and wood or fossil fuel burning heaters or fireplaces. Check smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly and practice your home escape plan in the event of a fire.
Jones County EMA Executive Director Don McKinnon will be in contact with the National Weather Service overnight tonight and all day tomorrow receiving updates and will provide additional information as it becomes available.