BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One more big blast of winter temperatures moved into south Louisiana and southwest Mississippi early Thursday morning.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Wilkinson and Amite counties in southwest Mississippi. It is scheduled to remain in effect from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. There is a threat of freezing rain. No other areas inside the WAFB viewing area are under any type of winter weather watch/warning/advisory.
Officials in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, announced all schools are closed.
The temperature in Baton Rouge at 4:30 a.m. was 40 degrees. Wednesday saw temperatures in the mid 80s, which were 15 degrees above normal. Evening temperatures for most of the viewing area were still in the 70s with only a few showers popping up through midnight.
However, a strong arctic cold front moved through the area in the predawn hours of Thursday morning. The front triggered a huge drop in temperatures as it passed through the region. Light rain fell as the front made its way through the area.
As for a "wintry precip" threat, WAFB's model and most of the others are keeping snow and sleet out of the viewing area with the possible exception of some Mississippi counties, plus northern Pointe Coupee and Avoyelles parishes. Even there, snow is really not on the forecast board and sleet will likely be limited to non-accumulation totals at best.
The temperature drop and rainfall will have to be during a precise time to cause freezing rain. The freezing rain threat for metro Baton Rouge is pretty much zero. Therefore, we do not anticipate any travel issues across roads and highways.
We probably don't even see any issues in Wilkinson and Amite counties either. The main reason being that it takes longer for ground and road temperatures to reach the freezing mark because they are good absorbers of heat from the previous day and the viewing area got into the 80s on Wednesday.
There could be some freezing on metal surfaces, windshields and power lines in the "Pink Zone." Still, any accumulations will be so small as to not be a real problem and temps should get far enough above freezing during the day to melt anything that does appear.
The warm and muggy air from Wednesday will be gone by sunrise on Thursday as the temperatures will be in the 30s and 40s with a cold rain falling. Those temperatures will rise very little through the daylight hours on Thursday. Some of the northern viewers may not get out of the 30s through the afternoon. While the rains should taper-off into the mid-day and afternoon, the clouds will linger.
Another big issue will be wind chill values. Combine a falling thermometer with gusty winds and we could see wind chills dip into the upper teens in some areas.
Bottom line is that Thursday is going to be a cold, wet, damp, raw day. Wintry precipitation will not have any impact on metro Baton Rouge, but we could see some freezing rain on non-ground surfaces in SW Mississippi early Thursday.