Weather

Slow down! Black ice will be a threat Wednesday night and Thursday morning, officials say

A thin layer of ice and snow cover a line of cars in Gulfport on Tuesday morning.
A thin layer of ice and snow cover a line of cars in Gulfport on Tuesday morning. amccoy@sunherald.com

There were more than 200 wrecks in two days during a two-day ice storm in 2014. Dozens of drivers who didn’t know how to drive on icy roads ended up in ditches Police said the best advice is to stay off of the roads.

Icy roads and bridges will again be dangerous Wednesday night and Thursday morning as temperatures struggled to get above freezing before plunging back down.

The Harrison County Emergency Management agency says roads that did not see significant improvement during the day today will have slick spots, known as black ice, again tonight. Bridges and overpasses aren’t likely to improve until temperatures get well above freezing Thursday afternoon.

At 2 p.m. temperatures ranged from 29 to 34 degrees, and most of the Coast did not see above-freezing temperatures long enough to thaw many icy roads and bridges. By 6 p.m. the Coast will be back below freezing.

And wind chill could make it feel like it’s in the single-digits to teens again.

The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued a hard freeze warning until 11 a.m. Thursday. There is a wind chill advisory from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 9 a.m. Thursday.

Overnight lows will hover around 20 north of the interstate and in the low to mid-20s close to the water.

Parts of northern Pearl River County and Louisiana saw at inch or more of snow, the weather service reported.

Tuesday’s low of 17, which was recorded at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, was the lowest temperatures have been since 2005, said Freddie Ziegler, weather service meteorologist.

Many, but not all, school districts in South Mississippi have decided to cancel classes Thursday.

Ice and snow overnight left pretty scenery and slippery roads in South Mississippi.

Lauren Walck: 228-896-2393, @laurenwalck

Beware black ice

What is black ice?

Black ice is a transparent sheet of ice that forms on highways and can be difficult to identify until you already driven over it. The source of black ice is melted residual glaze from freezing rain and or melted snow and sleet that re- freezes. Black ice can be especially dangerous on elevated roadways such as overpasses and inclines such as bridges.

When and Where?

Black ice will form once again regionwide until late Thursday morning. Local emergency management, working very closely with the weather service in Mobile, confirmed the black ice situation over most areas, and they are very concerned about the situation over the next day or so. So, slow down and use extra precaution if you must drive!

In general, those areas receiving the most snowmelt and freezing rain, which is generally over interior sections of southern Alabama and southeastern Mississippi, will continue experiencing black ice the longest, meaning over the next several nights.

National Weather Service

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