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Posted: Tuesday, 28 January 2014 6:44AM

Conditions forecast to worsen through the day



The National Weather Service warns that "significant amounts of wintry precipitation" will impact Southeast Louisiana and Southern Mississippi today through early Wednesday morning.

The Winter Weather Warning says, "Arctic air continues to push southward into the Deep South... sleet and light freezing rain... will continue to advance south and east throughout the day with a transition eventually to snow as the air mass continues to cool."

Government forecasters say parts of the region are already seeing the wintery mix.

"Precipitation has begun in southwest Mississippi and east-central Louisiana...will continue to spread south and east through today. The heaviest precipitation is expected from midday today into the early evening hours."

The Weather Service listed what officials expect in terms of impact.

"Ice accumulations of one quarter of an inch can be expected in all locations with accumulations possibly nearing one half inch south of Lake Pontchartrain and in the metropolitan New Orleans area. Snow amounts of one to three inches with locally higher amounts are possible especially in southwest Mississippi and the adjacent Louisiana parishes."

When the freezing rain, sleet and snow stop... it gets colder.

"A hard freeze is likely on Wednesday morning across the entire area and wind chill values in the single digits are possible on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning."

What will be the main impact?

"Driving conditions will become especially hazardous beginning by daybreak today through mid-morning. Hazardous conditions will persist throughout the day into tonight. Since temperatures will not rise above freezing for any significant period of time...hazardous driving conditions are likely to persist into Wednesday. In addition...ice accumulations of a quarter of an inch has the potential to cause significant problems with power lines and tree limbs becoming too heavy to maintain their integrity."

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