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.
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.
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.