March 28, 2015

Weather Service: ‘slight risk’ of severe weather in Missouri

The National Weather Service is warning that there is a slight risk for severe thunderstorms in much of Missouri today.

This weather graphic from the National Weather Service illustrates the areas its Storm Prediction Center says are at a slight risk for severe weather today and tomorrow, and what the primary threats are.

This weather graphic from the National Weather Service illustrates the areas its Storm Prediction Center says are at a slight risk for severe weather today and tomorrow, and what the primary threats are.

The weather service predicts rain and thunderstorms this morning will break up by the afternoon, but another round is expected to develop around 5 or 6 this evening in western Missouri and sweep northeast according to lead forecaster at St. Louis, Jim Sieveking.

“That’s when we could expect the potential for some severe thunderstorms with large hail, some damaging winds, and we can’t rule out maybe an isolated tornado,” Sieveking told Missourinet.

Areas said to be at a slight risk this evening include the Kansas City and St. Louis regions and southwest and south-central Missouri.

The first round of severe storms in a season often catches some people off guard, so Sieveking is reminding Missourians to pay attention.

“This afternoon into this evening just be aware of if there are any watches that are issued, severe thunderstorm or tornado watches that are issued, and then if a warning is issued for your area then take action,” said Sieveking. “Go to the lowest floor of your building. Even if it’s severe thunderstorm, large hail and damaging winds can blow out windows and so forth so I always encourage everybody to just go downstairs until the storm passes.”

Another slight risk of severe weather is predicted for tomorrow but is more limited to southern Missouri.

Sieveking says southern Missouri could also be at risk for flooding tomorrow.

“That front kind of lights up tomorrow and it looks like the thunderstorms might train across southeast Missouri so we could get some heavy rainfall down there. Looks like one to two inches of rain could happen,” said Sieveking. “Those areas saw a lot of snow and a lot of precipitation over the last couple of weeks.”

For National Weather Service information for your area, visit these NWS pages:

In northwest and western Missouri:  Kansas City (Pleasant Hill)

In northeast and eastern Missouri:  St. Louis

In southwest Missouri:  Springfield

In southeast Missouri:  Paducah, KY

Scotland and Clark counties:  Davenport, IA

NWS: up to 6″ of snow possible in parts of Missouri this weekend

A large swath of Missouri could see up to half-a-foot of snow this weekend based on projections from the National Weather Service.

This weather graphic from the National Weather Service includes predicted total snowfall by Sunday night.

This weather graphic from the National Weather Service includes predicted total snowfall by Sunday night.

Meteorologist Spencer Mell told Missourinet the storm that could bring that snow is pushing our way from the Pacific Northwest this morning and will cross the western U.S. through today and tomorrow.

“Looks like we’ll probably start to see snow enter into western Missouri as we get into the very late morning hours tomorrow, and then we’ll see that continue through the afternoon on Saturday overspreading most of the area between Interstate 44 and Interstate 70 through most of the afternoon, and then continuing through Saturday night when we’ll probably see the bulk of the snowfall fall across the area,” said Mell. “Then even perhaps a second shot as we get into the day on Sunday.”

The heaviest snow is expected to fall in an area from roughly St. Joseph to Kirksville in northern Missouri, to as far south as a Nevada to St. Louis line.

Snow is expected to begin accumulating by Saturday night.

“We’ll see snow totals by Saturday evening pretty much around the inch to two-inch range. By the time we get through Saturday night we’ll probably look at snowfall totals already reaching that three to five-inch range,” Mell said. “By the time we add up all our snowfall totals by Sunday evening we’re probably looking at a four to six total snowfall range for this whole event.”

Mell says Missourians should pay attention to the weather this weekend and be prepared to alter travel plans, and those that do have to get out should allow extra time to do so.

NWS warns Missouri: freezing temps, slick conditions spreading south

A storm overnight has left a swath of roads in the northern half of the state partly to mostly covered and slick according to the Department of Transportation.

This weather graphic from the National Weather Service estimates the location of the "freezing line" through 9am in southwest Missouri.

This weather graphic from the National Weather Service estimates the location of the “freezing line” through 9am in southwest Missouri.

As the “freeze line” continues to push farther south this morning, National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Sieveking says roads in more areas of the state could start to become slick where they aren’t already.

“We’ve got a lot of moisture that’s still on the roads and the temperatures are going to be falling pretty drastically this morning,” Sieveking told Missourinet. “In Columbia right now it’s 32 degrees but you don’t have to far up in Kirksville and it’s already down to 17. That cold air is filtering south and as that happens some of the roads that are untreated or don’t have any salt on them could freeze up and cause some hazardous conditions.”

Elevated surfaces such as bridges are typically the first to freeze.

As temperatures fall in parts of the state where roads haven’t already been slick today, Sieveking says some drivers could be caught by surprise.

“It might look just wet or maybe even experience that it’s just wet but then you hit an icy spot and it could be some hazardous driving conditions there,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep people alert of the changing conditions as the temperature plummets into the 20s and the teens this afternoon.”

The Highway Patrol is so far attributing about a dozen accidents last evening and overnight to slick road conditions.

See Missouri road conditions with the Transportation Department’s Traveler Information Map, which is also available as an app on Apple or Android.

Weather Service: storm could bring snow, ice, travel problems

Travel in the northern part of Missouri could be made sketchy tomorrow night and Saturday morning by a storm system that could bring a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

This graphic from the National Weather Service in St. Louis shows the areas with the greatest chance of having four inches of snow by Saturday afternoon.

This graphic from the National Weather Service in St. Louis shows the areas with the greatest chance of having four inches of snow by Saturday afternoon.

National Weather Service meteorologist Mike July says predicting where precipitation will fall and how much there will be is proving difficult, but it’s safe to say travel will be impacted.

“If you can put off travel plans to get it done early on Friday or hold off until later in the day on Sunday that would probably be the best way to go, because when we do we do have some of this freezing rain and sleet move in, all it takes is a thin layer of that ice to create havoc,” July told Missourinet. “We’ve had some of our worst accidents with the freezing drizzle where you just have a very thin coating on the ground versus an all-out ice storm.”

This graphic from the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill (Kansas City) shows predicted snowfall totals from northwest through central Missouri, and where a light glaze of ice is possible.

This graphic from the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill (Kansas City) shows predicted snowfall totals from northwest through central Missouri, and where a light glaze of ice is possible.

The latest outlooks call for up to four inches of snow in far northwest Missouri ranging through one to two inches from west-central Missouri northeast through near Hannibal.

Parts of southern Missouri could experience some light rain, freezing rain or sleet late tonight, but will see primarily rain out of the storm Friday night and Saturday morning.

For information for your area, tune in to your Missourinet affiliate station and visit these Weather Service office websites.

In southwest Missouri:  Springfield and on Twitter @NWSSpringfield

In southeast Missouri:  Paducah, KY and on Twitter @NWSPaducah

In northwest and western Missouri:  Kansas City (Pleasant Hill) and on Twitter @NWSKansasCity

In northeast and eastern Missouri:  St. Louis and on Twitter @NWSStLouis

Scotland and Clark counties:  Davenport, IA and on Twitter @NWSQuadCities

Weather Service warns of icy morning drive in southern half of Missouri

1:00 AM UPDATE:

The National Weather Service says scattered light rain showers and some mixed in sleet have developed along and south of I-70 in eastern Missouri and along and south of Highway 54 in western Missouri. Some of the showers are falling in areas where temperatures have already dropped below freezing, resulting in some light freezing rain.

The Weather Service is now warning of a light glaze of ice along and south of the I-44 corridor, with trace amounts of ice possible further north. Slick spots are more likely to form on bridges and overpasses.

A winter weather advisory is now in effect for much of the southern half of the state.

Original story:

The National Weather Service is warning that a combination of cold temperatures and light precipitation could lead to dangerous driving conditions in part of southern Missouri for Monday morning.

This weather graphic from the National Weather Service's St. Louis office shows where the greatest chance of freezing precipitation overnight is, according to forecasts.

This weather graphic from the National Weather Service’s St. Louis office shows where the greatest chance of freezing precipitation overnight is, according to forecasts.

Senior Meteorologist Fred Glass told Missourinet temperatures have turned dramatically colder ahead of the front. The coldest air in that front currently extends from west-central Missouri through central Illinois.

“That would be air that is general below freezing,” said Glass. “That air mass is going to continue to push south with those colder temperatures pushing across southern Missouri overnight. At the same time that’s happening, we’re looking at precipitation trying to develop during the overnight hours.”

He says the predicted timeframe for that development will be between about 3 a.m. and 10 a.m., which includes the morning drive to work for many Missourians.

“The most likely areas to experience some frozen precipitation, mainly in the form of freezing rain, are going to be extreme southeast Missouri,” said Glass. He said a little bit of sleet is also possible toward the end of the event. “There is little to no precipitation forecast along the I-44 corridor. Everything is pretty much to the south of that.”

Glass said there could be some glazing of ice on roads and highways, but the greatest concern is for elevated surfaces like bridges and overpasses.

“The freezing rain looks like it’s going to be pretty light in intensity … elevated surfaces are surrounded by air and they cool off a lot quicker,” said Glass. “Bridges, overpasses; those are the ones that are going to be most susceptible to get some icy conditions that are going to cause travel issues during the very late night and morning hours on Monday.”

Accumulations of ice are expected to be light enough that the Weather Service is not concerned about enough accumulation to bring down tree limbs and power lines.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for several counties in southwest and south-central Missouri and a freezing rain advisory is in place in several counties from south-central Missouri to southeast Missouri.

“Those are reflective of only expecting light accumulations of wintry precipitation,” said Glass. “As far as precautionary measures, if you’re planning on being out and traveling very late tonight and tomorrow morning … you should be prepared for maybe some icy conditions and especially cautious on bridges and overpasses. That would be my words of advice to the public.”

Glass says by Wednesday temperatures should be warming as the impact of the cold front lessens.

For information for your area, tune in to your Missourinet affiliate station and visit these Weather Service office websites.

In southwest Missouri:  Springfield and on Twitter @NWSSpringfield

In southeast Missouri:  Paducah, KY and on Twitter @NWSPaducah

In northwest and western Missouri:  Kansas City (Pleasant Hill) and on Twitter @NWSKansasCity

In northeast and eastern Missouri:  St. Louis and on Twitter @NWSStLouis

Scotland and Clark counties:  Davenport, IA and on Twitter @NWSQuadCities