Frigid temps sticking around, more winter possible

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, January 17, 2024

By Alyssa Schnugg
Senior Reporter

Oxford’s first winter storm shut down the town after dumping ice and snow Sunday evening into late Monday.

And it’s not over yet.

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There are still frigid temperatures to deal with this week and another possible night of rain, snow and sleet on Thursday.

Roads were impassable for most of Monday and many businesses closed their doors. Oxford and Lafayette schools are closed through Wednesday and the University of Mississippi canceled classes and closed the campus through at least Wednesday as well.

On Monday evening, Lafayette County officials announced they made a decision to not plow county roads due to the initial layer of sleet that fell before the snow creating a hazardous situation, and removing the snow layer may exacerbate the existing icy conditions.

While the ice and snow made travel difficult, the below-freezing temps are lingering throughout the week, which could wreak havoc on household pipes and utilities.

The high temperatures are expected to remain below 30 degrees for most of the week and dipping down into the single digits at night.

By Sunday, the high is expected to finally reach above freezing, 36 degrees with the expected low at 24 degrees.

While Wednesday is expected to be sunny, there is a 30 percent chance of rain, snow and freezing rain returning Thursday night sometime before midnight, according to the National Weather Service.

The cold temperatures will help keep the snow and ice around longer than usual for our area.

Snow and freezing temperatures could lead to peaks in power demand as well, according to the Tennessee Valley Authority, which is asking customers of all local utility companies to conserve power over the next couple of days.

Once things begin to warm up later this week, that is the time when frozen pipes can begin to burst.

Oxford Utilities is recommending customers continue to drip their faucets, cover any outside spigots and know how to shut off the water to your house.

If pipes do freeze, thaw pipes with warm air using an air dryer or space heater. Do not attempt to thaw pipes before turning off the main shut-off valve and slowly turn the water back on once the pipes are thawed. Check pipes and joints for any cracks or leaks.