The predicted heavy snow for mid and northern Missouri never materialized over the weekend as the stronger part of the storm system developed in southeast Missouri.

Dan Spaeth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Kentucky, which tracks southeast Missouri said the area received 4-6 inches Saturday afternoon, although there was a pocket with larger totals.

“The main swath in Missouri for the highest amounts went from Carter and Wayne Counties up into Madison County where we did have some 7-9 inch isolated reports,” said Spaeth.

Wind gusts of 50-55 miles per hour were felt in Cape Girardeau.

A firetruck from Zell that was responding to a 15 vehicle pile up on I-55 became part of the incident (Image courtesy of Zell Volunteer Fire Department)

A 15-vehicle crash blocked a section of Interstate 55 Saturday in southeast Missouri.  The Missouri Department of Transportation reported the interstate near Ste. Genevieve was blocked because of the crash, which included a firetruck from Zell that was responding to the incident. Motorists were urged to find an alternate route. There was no immediate word on injuries.

In eastern Missouri, St. Charles received about 2 inches of snow while Farmington had an estimated 1.4 inches.  The city of St. Louis received 0.7 inches.

Meteorologist Spencer Mell with the National Weather Service in Kansas City said several factors contributed to the storm fizzling out in mid and north Missouri.

“The storm system itself wound up being further north,” said Mell.  “The better energy for the whole storm system wound up being further south where they got the severe weather.  And over our area, we wound up getting dried out with those strong winds that moved down into the area, so all three of those factors cut our snow totals.”

Narrow portions of far northern Missouri, including Harrison County and the town of Bethany, received about 4-6 inches of snow while Kirksville had roughly 3-4 inches.  Some 2-3 inches of snow fell on other portions of north Missouri, including St. Joseph and Maryville while 1-2 inches fell in Chillicothe. Most of the rest of mid and southwest Missouri received a dusting of snow accumulations up to an inch in some spots.

Steve Lindenberg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Springfield, said the Saturday storm began to pick up momentum in his area.

“It was just starting out to strengthen as it was moving through the Springfield area,” said Lindenberg.  “And then as the day wore it strengthened quite a bit.”

Springfield received less than an inch while Branson to the south recorded an inch.  As much as four inches fell in West Plains to the southeast of Springfield in southern Missouri.  In a Facebook post, the City of West Plains asked drivers to avoid Highway 63 where there was a 15-car accident near Thayer.

Slick conditions also led to a semi crash on I-44 that closed down westbound traffic through Springfield for approximately four miles Saturday afternoon.

As of 8:00 a.m. Sunday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol had responded to 1,784 calls for service, 660 stranded motorists and 304 crashes which resulted in 45 injuries, 4 fatalities—2 believed to have been weather-related.

Mell with the National Weather Service in Kansas City says more snow is headed to the state in the upcoming days and next weekend in what is called “clipper storms”. “We’ll see these weak disturbances work through the area that could produce light amounts of snow, a few shots of it through the weekend,” Mell said.
Clipper storms that occur across and the plains and midwest states typically bring light snow, strong winds, and colder temperatures.

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