Deep freeze hits Deep South

Jaclyn Cosgrove, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Weather News

The National Weather Service in Huntsville anticipates that a very cold, dry arctic air mass will remain in place across the Tennessee Valley, which includes part of Alabama, for much of the upcoming week.

Although mostly sunny to partly cloudy conditions are expected, afternoon temperatures will struggle to approach the freezing mark, and lows will drop into the teens each morning.


An estimated 200,000 visitors were in New Orleans over the weekend, in part for the Sugar Bowl, and it was sometimes easy to tell the out-of-towners from the locals.

"You had some people who came down from the Northeast for the game who weren't wearing jackets at all -- it was 35 or 40 degrees, and they were fine," said Mark Romig, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. president and chief executive. "They probably thought it was a warm front, and others who are from closer to New Orleans, they pulled out their thickest jackets, scarves and gloves."

Barry Keim, Louisiana state climatologist, said the state normally sees lows in the mid-40s and afternoon highs in the low 60s. Currently, temperatures across the state are 20 to 25 degrees below normal.


"This is not record-breaking cold, in terms of the coldest we've ever seen, but we're nipping at extremes for specific days," Keim said.


Gary Sturdivant, a Salvation Army major in Biloxi, says he has never experienced such cold during his five years working in Mississippi.

On Tuesday, the nighttime temperature is expected to dip into the low 20s. WLOX reported that, for the first time in years, ice formed on the Biloxi Back Bay.


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