A winter storm sweeping the state has covered the Greenwood area in ice, snow and sleet.
Joanne Culin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Jackson, said the service is monitoring the area and the frigid weather.
“Well, right now, we are experiencing winter precipitation moving across the area,” Culin said Monday morning. “Currently, it’s about 15 degrees.”
According to the most recent data the service had received, there was a report of an estimated 2 to 2.5 inches of sleet collected in Greenwood.
“Conditions are going to get really cold (Monday) night,” Culin said. “We are looking at low temperatures around 3 degrees. It’s a very cold air mass, and then anything that’s accumulated helps keep it cold. … In addition to the low temperatures, you are going to have wind chills below zero at times. It looks like we have wind chills around negative 4 to negative 6 degrees by (Tuesday) morning.”
Culin advises staying home as much as possible, saying that this “really is not a time to be out at all.”
“The unfortunate part is we aren’t going to warm up (Tuesday),” she said. “We’re going to remain in the lower 20s (Tuesday) and then dip back down to the teens again (Tuesday) night. So, anything that’s on the roadways or the ground from this precipitation is going to stay. It’ not going to be one of our typical melt-by-late-afternoon winter events that we get.”
According to the forecast from the National Weather Service, snow showers, freezing rain and sleet are expected before 1 p.m. Wednesday with rain showers moving in until 3 p.m. and sleet after.
Wednesday’s high is expected to be about 36 degrees.
From Wednesday night into Thursday morning, rain or freezing rain is expected between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m. Then, rain showers, snow showers and freezing rain are all likely after 2 a.m. with a low around 30.
Culin said later this week it will still be important to remain vigilant as the cold weather lingers.
“Wednesday into Thursday, we’re looking at another winter weather system moving through with probably some kind of a combination of rain, freezing rain, sleet-snow mixture yet again. So it’s really going to compound problems for travel,” she said. “Nothing has melted, or won’t completely melt, and then we’ll have this other weather system moving through and kind of dumping on top of it.”
Meanwhile, electric providers say they are working hard to keep residents warm.
Brian Finnegan, CEO at Greenwood Utilities, said as of Monday morning there have not been any power outages.
“So far, so good,” he said.
Leading up to the storm, Finnegan said that the company had been patrolling the area to make sure there were no limbs or items that could cause any power outages.
He also said that Greenwood Utilities has four contract crews on deck if needed.
“Our slogan here is ‘hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,’” he said.
Likewise, at Delta Electric, David O’Bryan, general manager of Delta Electric Power Association in Greenwood, said that the company has only seen a few isolated instances of power outages.
“It’s been very minimal with no widespread outages,” he said. “Fortunately, we’re in pretty good shape right now.”
O’Bryan said he has been in talks with the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi, a service organization encompassing the state’s electric power associations, if extra relief is needed.
“We’re in pretty good shape right now,” he said.
Many businesses throughout the area have closed their doors Monday as a result of the weather.
All schools throughout the county are closed for in-person classes as well, although some had already scheduled to be closed because of the President’s Day holiday. Pillow and Carroll academies both announced that they will also be closed Tuesday. The Carroll County School District will not return to in-person classes until Thursday, but will continue with distance learning.
Mississippi Valley State University also closed its campus, only allowing essential personnel at the school Monday. Other employees are instructed to telework with all classes being held virtually.
According to a statement from the Mississippi State Department of Health, the drive-through vaccination appointments scheduled for Monday have been automatically rescheduled for the same time on Sunday.
• Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or email@example.com. On Twitter at @AdamBakst_GWCW.