In the business world, you've heard what matters is "location, location, location". And that's exactly what this event will be about--your location! Your house may see rain and sleet while a few miles down the road, your neighbor could see icing. Most of the state has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning meaning significant icing accumulations are expected.
There is plenty of moisture coming in with this low pressure area. That's a given. It now looks as if the rain will begin in the early hours of Sunday morning as rain across southwest Mississippi (near Natchez). As the temperature drops, the rain will make a change over to sleet. As the ground surface and surrounding objects cool, freezing rain is expected. Snow will fall in central and north Mississippi. I really like the way the NWS had explained the accumulations with their graphic. It is easy to understand once you find your county. PLEASE note, this is a forecasted accumulation and variations are still possible!
As you can see, areas north of I-20 could see plenty of snow. Some computer models estimate upwards of 9 inches north of the Highway 82 corridor (yes, mom and hometown friends, that includes you). Central Mississippi, or areas between I-20 and Highway 84, could experience icing accumulations up to 0.50". Those locations would have the best opportunity to see the ice, sleet, snow mix. Areas south of Highway 84 could also have icing accumulations, although it would be less. Any icing that happens WILL hamper travel. If you don't have to travel Sunday, please stay home so the roads stay clear for emergency vehicles and road crews. The weather may be benign to start the morning off and in a matter of an hour or so, could deteriorate considerably.
I would not be surprised to hear of power outages either. Winds will be gusting upwards of 20 miles an hour throughout the day. Combine the winds with heavy snow and icing on power lines and you know what happens. Again, this would be the worst possible that could happen in this winter event, but living in Mississippi should have prepared you for the dramatic.
I'll be working at WLBT Sunday and hope to have an update on this blog, my Facebook pages and on Twitter. If you get to stay home with your family, enjoy it!