PEARL – The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency along with county emergency managers around the state are asking residents to be prepared for some dangerously cold temperatures this week.

Another arctic blast will move into Mississippi tonight, dropping low temperatures in the 20’s. The National Weather Service is forecasting even lower temperatures on Thursday and Friday.

Central and north Mississippi could see wind chills into the single digits, with wind chills in the teens as far as the Gulf Coast. There is also a slight possibility of a light wintry mix of snow/ice in the south and west parts of the state Thursday night, but no accumulation is expected.

MEMA Director Robert Latham reminds residents to keep close tabs on those that are especially vulnerable to these conditions. “Please be sure to check on family, friends and neighbors that may need special attention, like seniors and those that have special medical needs,” said Latham. “These are potentially dangerous overnight temperatures and we want to make sure everyone is prepared.”

The NWS has already placed Amite, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Pike, Walthall and Wilkinson counties under a hard freeze warning tonight.

Several counties are opening cold weather shelters for those in need of a warm place to go. To find a cold weather shelter in your area, contact your local emergency management office. For a full list of contact numbers, visit https://www.msema.org/local-ema/, or call 1-866-519-6362.

The public is encouraged to follow updates from MEMA on Twitter, Facebook and at www.msema.org. You can also download MEMA’s free mobile phone app for Android or iPhone devices.