JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Central Mississippi did not get the icy weather his past week. In fact, Jackson’s last ice storm was two years ago this month, and that was a sleet storm more than an ice storm.

What’s the difference?

The pro about a sleet storm, like the one we got back in 2021, is that it doesn’t coat the trees and power lines with ice. It’s ice pellets that fall to the ground, and that’s the disadvantage of a sleet storm. Whereas, an ice storm falls as rain and freezes instantly on anything it touches.

Trees, power lines, things like that. And sometimes, when conditions are just right, or maybe should I say when conditions are just wrong, the freezing rain coats bridges and streets and freezes inches thick on power lines and trees and really creates problems, like it did back in north Mississippi in 1994.

Some towns were without electricity for as long as a month and a half because miles and miles of electric power lines crumbled like toothpicks under the weight of the ice.

However, Mississippi is geographically situated in just the right climatological spot to have a goldilocks ice storm from time to time. Not too much to lock up the world, nor not just a cold rain that doesn’t do anything but make you wet, but just enough ice to turn weeds into magic wands and trees into sparkling tiaras.

More than once, the southern border of the ice shield has eased somewhere into the mid-Delta, and you can stand just south of the freezing line and see the ice, knowing everything north of where you are all the way to the North Pole is coated with ice or snow or both. 

When you are able to drive around in the ice, the way the trees are sheathed in crystal and how that transforms the world into something unfamiliar, allows you to define it any way you want to. Captivating is as good an adjective as any to hang on it. 

You stop and get our of the car and you feel the cold, first thing. Then listen. It’s quiet, like in snow, except the ice cracks in the breeze. You forget that ice cracking from ice storm to ice storm. A friendly icing reshapes creation and redefines our pathways.

And it is a pleasing escape from the norm if you are where the power stays on and the roads stay clear. And even if you don’t like it, in Mississippi, usually by day after tomorrow it’s all gone, anyway.