Missouri will be impacted by two winter storms Friday through Sunday. A storm on Friday could cause some travel hazards, then a system Saturday night through Sunday could be a significant winter storm posing threats to travel and utilities.
Friday morning, precipitation will spread into the western portion of the state and push east. It is expected to begin as a mix of rain, freezing rain, snow and sleet that could cause some glazing of ice and make morning driving hazardous. Warmer temperatures in the afternoon will cause most precipitation to change over to rain in the afternoon and allow for some melting of any ice, according to Meteorologist Ryan Cutter with the National Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill.
“It will be a little dicey and we’ll have to see where all that freezing precip decides to fall,” says Cutter.
That storm is expected to end Friday evening with some snowfall perhaps lingering in far north Missouri.
The more significant storm is expected to begin Saturday night, but much uncertainty remains about that storm.
Meteorologist Andy Boxell with the National Weather Service office in Springfield says there is a great deal of confidence that a lot of wintry precipitation will fall in Missouri Saturday night through Sunday, but questions about temperatures and track remain.
“We’re not only concerned about the temperature here at the surface,” says Boxell, “but also further up in the atmosphere … if we’re just cold enough we may see more sleet and snow. A little bit warmer in some cases and maybe more of a freezing rain event.”
As for what will fall, Boxell says, “In all likelihood there will be a portion of the state that sees fairly significant snow, a portion that sees fairly significant sleet and freezing rain accumulations,” but it remains unclear where the varying forms of precipitation will fall.
The Saturday night and Sunday storm is expected to pose threats to both travel and utilities.
In regard to travel, Cutter says, “There could be enough snow that [road crews] will need to probably get out and maybe plow over the weekend, especially as you get further north in Missouri with several inches of accumulation expected.”
For south Missouri Boxell says temperatures will be cold enough to allow for accumulation on elevated roadways, tree limbs and power lines.
“Freezing rain is the worst-case scenario and that, combined with what is going to be a pretty stiff east wind could create some issues where that freezing rain does fall.” He notes that where sleet falls, structural problems could also arise because its accumulation can add significant amounts of weight to structures.
Cutter says some snow could continue Sunday night but the storm should come to an end by Monday. It is expected to be followed by very cold temperatures for Monday, with daytime highs struggling to get into the teens and overnight lows into the singled digits and negative readings in north Missouri and only slightly warmer in southern Missouri..
Both meteorologists encourage Missourians to watch and listen for the latest updates on both storms.
For 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