UPDATED at 4:30 a.m. Thursday
The second biggest pre-November 15 snow event on record in east-central Missouri bogged down traffic in the St. Louis area. National Weather Service Meteorologist Kevin Deitsch says snow plows haven’t kept up with snowfall that could total eight inches in some places. “Most roads that we’ve noticed have been covered,” said Deitsch. “MoDOT (Missouri Department of Transportation) has been working hard to clear them but the snow has just come down fairly heavy that they haven’t been able to keep up.”
Southeast Missouri, including Cape Girardeau and the Bootheel region, have received one to two inches of snow from the storm while Jefferson City in mid-Missouri has also received two inches or more. Deitsch says the early winter storm will hover over the region into the midday. “ Looks like the precipitation should start to get out of here late this morning to early this afternoon, in the metro probably ending sometime between about noon and 3 p.m.”
KSDK reported more than 600 school closings in the St. Louis area today. The storm is the second biggest early season snow event on record for east-central Missouri behind a 1951 early November storm.
About 10.3 inches of snow accumulated over a two-day period during a storm on November 5 and 6, 1951. Until now the second highest total – 3.9 inches – occurred November 6 and 7, 1991. Cape Girardeau saw 2.7 inches of snow in a storm on October 29 and 30, 1993.
UPDATED at 4:10 p.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for portions of east-central and southeast Missouri tonight.
About 5 to 7 inches is expected in the counties straddling to Mississippi River from St. Louis south to Cape Girardeau. In addition to St. Louis City, St. Louis County is included in the warning as well as St. Charles, Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve, Perry, Bollinger and Cape Girardeau counties.
A Winter Weather Advisory is in place for adjacent areas in east-central and southeast Missouri where 2 to 4 inches of snow is expected, including in the Bootheel region.
Both the warning and the advisory are in place from 6 p.m. Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday.
Outlying portions of the “watch” area, such as Bowling Green, are now projected to receive two inches of snow instead of no precipitation as previously predicted.
Accumulation of snowfall will continue in the St. Louis area for an additional two to three hours, which make for more dangerous conditions during morning drive time.
A Winter Storm Watch will be in effect as an early winter storm could bring up to six inches of snow to portions of east central and southeast Missouri Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Potentially heavy snowfall over a 12 to 18-hour period could impact an area along I-55 from St. Louis extending south to Farmington and Cape Girardeau. The weather event will likely affect travel, especially during the Thursday morning drive commute and there’s a potential for localized power outages, according to the National Weather Service in St. Louis.
The storm has the potential to dump the second highest total of snow in the St. Louis area before November 15th dating back to 1892. About 10.3 inches of snow accumulated over a two-day period during a storm on November 5 and 6, 1951. Until now the second highest total – 3.9 inches – occurred November 6 and 7, 1991. Cape Girardeau saw 2.7 inches of snow in a storm on October 29 and 30, 1993.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Jared Maples says the current storm is particularly unusual because it’s traveling into Missouri from the south in Texas. “Where the low is now is kind of meandering over the Texas area,” said Maples. “As it gets moving, that’s generally where it’s been, and it’s going to somewhat just barely scoot it to the northeast, and not in the most typical pattern.”
There’s no sign of snow in the next two-day forecast from any storm that would travel over the more usual path from Colorado through Kansas into Missouri. The National Weather Service forecast for Kansas City doesn’t show a chance of snow until Saturday night. The outlook is similar in northwest Missouri’s St. Joseph and Kirksville in the northern part of the state, where snow is possible on Saturday.
Wednesday night’s snowstorm has a slight chance of reaching into mid-Missouri’s Columbia and Jefferson City.
There’s currently high confidence that the coming storm will occur Wednesday night and that there’ll be snow accumulations up to six inches. But forecasters say its possible the storm’s track could move 20 miles west of its current trajectory, meaning more of east central Missouri could see snow. The northeast Missouri cities of Bowling Green, Canton and Quincy are outside the storms projected travel path.
Meteorologist Maples says the storm will have a significant impact in the areas where it’s most concentrated. “Where this does come together, you’re going to have enough moisture and the system is in just the right spot where you’ll get dumped on for a good 12 to 18 hours or so,” Maples said. He said there’s a potential danger for those who might be caught off guard by a snowstorm that almost never occurs this early in the winter cycle. “This is nothing to joke about here,” said Maples. “It’s to be taken seriously in that if you need to make other plans and you can make other plans, especially those in that 4 to 6-inch area, try to work around the forecast.”
The storm predicted for mid and northern Missouri Saturday and Saturday night would be following a more familiar west-to-east travel path.
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