JACKSON, Mississippi — The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is warning of a potential for heavy rain, flooding and the possibility of snow Tuesday through Wednesday.
The National Weather Service is forecasting as much as six inches of rain in portions of central and east Mississippi. Rain may turn to snow Tuesday evening with light accumulations possible on the eastern side of the state.
Mississippi Department of Transportation is warning motorists to proceed with caution as icy road conditions could form in northern parts of Mississippi. MDOT is also asking motorists to report icy conditions to local authorities.
"We're going to have lots of folks travelling for Thanksgiving and we want them to know what to expect with this weather system," said MEMA Executive Director Robert Latham. "Our goal is for everyone to be safe and enjoy the holiday with family and friends."
As for the highways, MDOT spokesman Kenny Foote said road conditions in central and southern Mississippi should not be impacted by the winter weather.
However, the agency will continue to monitor the state's roads and report any ice accumulation that may occur, Foote said.
"We will be monitoring the roads, especially north Mississippi and parts of central Mississippi over the next 48 hours," explains Kenny Foote.
Foote says MDOT de-icing trucks are ready to roll if the need arises. But, so far, they're not expecting the roads to get that bad. But, drivers should always be careful. Driving on wet roads can be just as dangerous.
"There's always potential for runoff, hydroplaning or possibly even hit mailboxes and what not," adds Foote.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol was advising drivers to allow enough time to get where they're going.
"Just because the speed limit says 60 mph, or 70 mph, that doesn't mean you want to do that because you want to decrease your speed to a safe speed so that when you go across the ice you don't hydroplane," said Highway Patrol spokesman MHP Trooper Eric Henry.
Cold rains will continue Tuesday night, with two to four inches falling in most of the central part of the state. North Mississippi could see light snow or sleet into Tuesday, with rain and snow likely in central and south Mississippi on Tuesday night.
In addition to the flooding hazards, bridges and overpasses could ice over as temperatures are expected to fall into the 20s late Tuesday through early Wednesday. Bridges, culverts and overpasses often freeze before other parts of the roadway, and ice patches can be difficult to see.
The sun is expected to return on Wednesday, though the temperatures will remain in the upper 30s or lower 40s.