Prepping for possible wintery weather

Forecasters are saying there is a potential wintery precipitation in some parts of the south over the weekend, including some parts of Mississippi.

While most of the year the only weather Gulf Coast residents have to worry about is hurricane season and the summer heat, occasionally frozen precipitation can occur in the winter months.

Harrison County Emergency Management Agency Acting Director Matt Stratton says they were briefed by the local weather service Thursday afternoon about the possibility of wintery weather in South Mississippi by the end of the weekend.

As of right now, Stratton says in the unlikely event the storm system gets far enough south, it could make its way into McComb and possibly Poplarville or Hattiesburg area. “I would say almost any kind of frozen or freezing precipitation here in South Mississippi is going to be a significant event. Really, we don’t have the resources places up North have to deal with a lot of winter weather. And so, the best thing is just to stay off the roads, stay home, and stay safe.”

If you have to get behind the wheel when there’s wintery conditions, Stratton says to allow extra time for travel, reduce your speed, and drive defensively. Staying off the roads, however, is the best idea. MDOT Public Information Officer Jace Ponder said, “Sometimes drivers get out in the winter weather to look at things. And when the roads ae icy, we recommend just staying home if you don’t have to get out into icy conditions. It’s not safe for you. It’s not safe for others. It’s not safe for the first responders.”

No matter the forecast, it’s always important to stay prepared. Mississippi Department of Transportation recommends keeping your vehicle maintained such as checking your heating and defrosting systems, along with making sure your car battery is charged and your brakes are working properly. “Within your car, we also recommend keeping a safety kit. Food, water, blankets, a flashlight, just in case you do become stranded in winter.”

Tune into WXXV’s forecasts and the National Weather Service to stay up to date on any potential sleet, freezing rain, or snow.

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