Up to nine inches of snow fell in northern Missouri Sunday from a storm that brought blizzard conditions through the area. Road closures included I-29 from the Iowa border to Mound City in the northwest portion of the state. An overnight accident in Davies County blocked traffic on I-35 north of Cameron.
Roadways across northern Missouri, generally north of I-70 remained covered in snow. Several roads in the northwest corridor of the state remained closed into Monday morning, including a portion of U.S. 59 in Holt County and Missouri Route 46 in Nodaway County. Travel on I-70 west of Columbia was discouraged by MoDOT (Missouri Department of Transportation) from Sunday evening into Monday morning.
Across the Midwest from Kansas through northern Missouri into Illinois, 14 million people were under a blizzard warning Sunday. Thousands of flights were canceled or delayed, with the biggest impact being felt at Kansas City International Airport (KCI), which was closed due to low visibility Sunday afternoon. Fourteen fights, all prior to 6:30 a.m. Monday were canceled at KCI.
The heaviest accumulation of snow in Missouri occurred in St. Joseph in the northwest part of the state, which saw nine inches. Four to eight inches fell across the Kansas City area.
Meteorologist Spencer Mell with the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill said hazardous road conditions were largely the result of wet conditions prior to the snowfall. “The rain that preceded the snow froze on contact on those roads and created those very icy conditions, and made it unable for MoDOT to treat those roads beforehand,” said Spencer. “They’re playing a little bit of catchup to try and get those roads clear.”
Mell said the heavy accumulation extended eastward in Missouri. “We did see those higher snowfall totals ranging anywhere from four-to-eight inches across the northern and northeastern part of the state,” Spencer said.
The National Weather Service in Chicago said the worst of the weather in its region would occur late Sunday night. Nearly 20 million were under a high-wind advisory in an area extending from Kansas into Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa.
Whiteout conditions in northern Missouri Sunday and Sunday night hampered travel for many residents returning home at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The Sunday after the holiday is typically the busiest travel day of the year in the United States.
Mell said morning drive in the Kansas City area would be treacherous due to lingering ice. “With the rain starting the system and then changing over to snow, a lot of that rain and the initial snow was liquid on the roadways and then froze, so we are still seeing some very icy conditions across much of the Kansas City area,” said Mell. High temperatures in Kansas City will remain below freezing until Wednesday.
Five-point-three inches of snow fell Sunday at KCI, the second heaviest snowfall on record in November, behind 7.5 inches on February 2, 2014. The record is 9.1 inches of snow which was set on Nov. 29. 1923. Most schools in the Kansas City area are closed Monday as well as numerous schools in and near mid-Missouri’s Columbia.
The National Weather Service in Kansas City offered a tweet summing up the Sunday storm and the season so far for snow in the region.
The KC snowfall for the entire 2015-2016 season 5.9″…the snowfall for the 2016-2017 season 4.9″…the snowfall for the 2017-2018 season was 7.7″…so far this season (thru 11/25) 7.8″. We’ve already had more snow then the last 3 cold seasons and Winter hasn’t even begun!!
— NWS Kansas City (@NWSKansasCity) November 26, 2018
The northeastern Missouri cities of Bowling Green and Quincy received an additional one-to-two inches of snow overnight Monday morning as the last of the storm traveled through the state.