Warmer temperatures are coming but we’re not quite there yet

Arctic weather continued to be an issue for South Mississippi on Wednesday night as temperatures once again dipped into the high to mid-teens and lower 20s. A hard freeze warning is in effect until 11 a.m. A wind chill advisory has also been issued until 9 a.m.

But relief from the cold is on the way, maybe just not as soon some Coast residents would like.

“A hard freeze warning has been issued from 6 p.m. Thursday until 11 a.m. on Friday,” National Weather Service New Orleans meteorologist Bob Wagner said. “We expect temperatures to get into the low 20s on Thursday night and early Friday morning.”

The high on Friday, Wagner said, is expected to get into the lower 50s.

“After Thursday night, temperatures are expected to stay above freezing until at least the middle of next week,” he said.

The below freezing temperatures, police say, created an increase of motor vehicle crashes.

Public safety officials say a hard freeze overnight through late Friday morning means motorists should drive according to the road conditions. Problems can include black ice, especially on bridges, overpasses and shaded areas.

Driving too fast for road conditions contributed to 45 crashes on Interstate 10 alone on Tuesday and Wednesday, Mississippi Highway Patrol Capt. Johnny Poulos said.

State troopers investigated 34 crashes and handled 61 calls for help in the six southernmost counties, he said. They typically investigate an average of five crashes a day. There were 111 crashes and calls for help during the two-day period.

The high on Sunday is expected to be near 70.