Capital Area awaits significant cold blast
A rare and significant cold blast will move into Louisiana and Mississippi by the end of the week and last through Christmas.
A polar airmass is expected to surge towards the Gulf Coast later this week and will bring several hazards to the area. Both *HARD FREEZE* and *WIND CHILL* alerts can be expected as early as Thursday night and could last through Christmas Day. Sunday is the time to start taking measures to protect your family, friends, pets and property from the likelihood of extreme and prolonged freezing conditions for southern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana. Rain is expected Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning and the cold air will arrive during the workweek, so any free time this weekend could and should be used taking the necessary precautions.
Go INSIDE THE WEATHER to find out more about the dangers of this major cold blast.
Arctic airmass surging south out of Canada and across the central United States will quickly move into the Lower Mississippi Valley Thursday and Thursday night. The cold front is expected to move into southwestern Mississippi and southeast Louisiana during the evening hours with temperatures dropping 20 to 30 degrees or more in only a few hours. Some light showers may occur ahead of the front, and if enough moisture remains a few snow flurries could fall Thursday overnight. Temperatures will continue to plummet through the overnight hours with almost the entire area below freezing before sunrise. Not only will the temperatures plunge, but very strong winds will follow the front and by sunrise Friday morning, there is a high chance that many areas will have wind chills (feels-like temperatures) in the lower teens and single digits. The wind chill has no impact on pipes, but for people and pets, the rapidly moving air speeds up the heat loss over our bodies and can quickly lead to hypothermia. As for pipes, plants, and property, temperatures will struggle to get above freezing, if they even do Friday, and there is a chance that many locations could be below freezing for 24 to possibly even more than 36 hours. And even if temperatures climb above freezing Friday, it will only be above 32 for a very short time. Not until Christmas Day will thermometers clear 32 degrees for more than a few hours. No significant precipitation is expected during the cold spell.
Get the latest forecast and real time temperature updates HERE.
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(((Following Data courtesy of National Weather Service)))
Every event is different and should be treated as such, but for some modern reference, here are a few relatable cold outbreaks:
-February 2nd through 5th 1996
-January 8th through 11th 2010
-February 15th through 17th 2021.
This cold blast will likely be more potent than the 2021 event. However, IT WILL NOT be accompanied by significant wintry precipitation thereby eliminating the risk for ice induced power outages.
As for a reference to Christmas, surprisingly there are two relatable historic events:
-December 23rd through 26th 1983
-December 22nd through 25th 1989
These two were extreme events and at this time we are not expecting to test those records. The 1989 cold airmass still holds numerous records across a good portion of the United States including locally where single digits were recorded in many places. We would have to go back to 1899 to see temperatures recorded lower than 1989 in much of the area over a multi day stretch.
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