Winter weather updates for the Pine Belt

Winter weather updates for the Pine Belt
Winter weather updates for the Pine Belt.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Interesting situation is unfolding outside your window. We have a line of storms set to move through during the next few hours. The line has struggled to develop any "strong" or "severe" characteristics in our area. The NOAA NWS Storm Prediction Center only suggested a 5% chance for a Severe Thunderstorm Watch.

More importantly is the VERY shallow layer of cold air (between the surface and about 2,000 feet in the air) that is seeping south behind the line of thunderstorms. There are reports of a 30+ degree drop from one side of the storms to the other. Generally I've seen between a 15 - 25 degree drop.

I still think the "Main Event" of the winter weather will stay north of I-20 but we could see a few hours of light freezing rain later tonight if the cold air continues to ooze this way at the speed it is going.

The good news is most of the area is well above freezing today. Most of us made it into the 60s and 70s. That means it will take us a bit longer to cool down the air, and cool down the roads, bridges and overpasses to below freezing. Because you can't get freezing rain until there is something freezing for the rain to stick to.

So, if things play out as aggressively as the current model trends suggest, there may be a few hours where places as far south as Collins, Laurel, and Waynesboro - or even farther south - receive very light freezing rain or sleet.