Just when you thought it was safe to go outside, the Deep South freeze is back

We hope you didn’t take those tender plants back outside last week. Otherwise, you’ll be hauling them back in today.

The National Weather Service is calling for a light to moderate freeze overnight Friday to Saturday morning and again Saturday night to Sunday morning. Those conditions are expected to extend into next week, too.

Overnight temperatures are expected to fall into the upper 20s and lower 30s over the weekend.

The worst of the frigid temperatures are expected between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m. Friday to Saturday and 8 p.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday to Sunday. Because below freezing temperatures are expected for more than a few hours, tender vegetation is at risk.

People, it’s pets, plants and pipes precautions.

Cold weather shelters will open across South Mississippi. After several days of cold temperatures around Christmas, The Salvation Army set out a notice saying it’s “in desperate need” of volunteers, blankets, sheets and paper products such as cups, plates and napkins for the coming cold snap.

The shelters are scheduled to be open Friday through Monday nights, with the possibility of additional nights as needed next week. Volunteers can sign up online or call 228-207-2303.

Elsewhere in the state, a light wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain was possible in the Mississippi's northern counties through early Friday afternoon, according to the Associated Press. Seven counties in the state's northwest corner were under a winter storm warning, where a combination of snow and sleet could total up to 3 inches.

Ole Miss canceled classes and offices because of icy conditions on roads and walkways in Oxford and the surrounding area. And Mississippi Highway Patrol closed driver’s license offices Thursday and Friday in the northern part of the state because of the weather.

The average high in mid-January at the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport is 59 degrees, according to Weather Underground, and the average low is 39 degrees. For the next week the highs in Gulfport will range from about 44 to 56 and the lows from 25 to 42.

Staff writer Mary Perez contributed to this report.