Meridian Star

January 18, 2013

Snow signals end of nasty weather

By Brian Livingston / blivingston@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     What seems like a month of dreary, cold rain ended Thursday morning with a little bit of the white stuff as Mother Nature finally pulled a stalled frontal system out of Mississippi.

    David Sharp, director of the Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency in Meridian said by mid morning they had recorded an inch of snow at the office in downtown Meridian. He said conditions were starting to get dicey until around 9 a.m.

    "The roads were just beginning to get an accumulation on them but the system shifted northward and the temperatures began to gradually rise," said Sharp later Thursday morning. "When that happened the brisk wind and higher temperatures kept the roads basically safe."    

    All across the region kids, enjoying a snow day from school, took advantage of the white stuff while it lasted. All the schools in Meridian and Lauderdale County were closed Thursday. On Poplar Springs Drive, 13-year-old Branson Acton struggled, without much help from his cousins and brother, to roll a huge ball of snow up an embankment in his front yard.

    "Dad," Acton yelled at his father who was watching from the front porch, "bring me a rope!"

    It is not known if the teen ever got the huge ball of snow up the slope.

    The winter storm left two to four inches of snow in parts of Mississippi on Thursday morning and was headed east toward Alabama, with the system expected to spread across northern Georgia and into the Washington, D.C., area, according to the National Weather Service. The winter blitz follows days of heavy rain across much of the Southeast. Meridian is about six inches above normal in rainfall for this time of year.

    Meteorologists said the storm left around three inches of snow on the ground in the Jackson metro area. The snow melted off quickly once temperatures rose to the upper 40s.

    Sharp said there were no reports of power outages and only one traffic accident, a minor one in which a vehicle slid off the shoulder of a county road. Sharp said he didn't expect any lingering effects from the snow.

    "I think the winds, traffic and some sunshine will take care of any moisture on the roadways so traveling shouldn't be a problem," said Sharp. "Still, motorists should always expect the unexpected. Use caution."

    The sun should finally come back today through next week with the nighttime lows in the 20s and the daytime highs in the 50s.