Weather contrasts are rarely so sharp as they were for the first week of March. With the first day of spring still two weeks off, and a bitter winter storm only two days past, it was a perfect sunny Saturday in New Albany.
Forty-eight hours earlier most of Union County was paralyzed with ice an inch or more thick on streets and rooftops. Few people ventured out of their homes and fewer still attempted to drive on city streets. An intense storm early on Thursday, March 5, dumped an inch of sleet, mixed with just enough freezing rain, to create the thickest coating of solid ice north Mississippians had seen thus far in the 21st century.
Warmer temperatures Thursday afternoon and most of the day Friday melted most of the ice from city streets, but many roads in rural areas, heavily shaded by overhanging trees, were still ice covered by sundown Friday.
Saturday afternoon temperatures in New Albany nudged above 50 degrees in dazzling sunlight. Downtown New Albany was filled with residents and visitors enjoying the relatively balmy day. Only a few small patches of ice remained as evidence of the Thursday ice storm.
Better yet, the National Weather Service said our winter weather is behind us with no more temperatures below freezing predicted for the rest of March and into April. However, NWS predictions being less than reliable, most thought it unwise to pack away winter gear too hastily.