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Winter Storm Warnings and Wind Chill Warnings have been announced for a majority of Missouri in advance of the winter weather that’s going to blast through the Show-Me State. Dangerously cold wind chills are expected with the wind making the temperature feel like it’s as low as 30 below zero. For the Winter Storm Warning, heavy snow is expected with total accumulations of between two and four inches, in addition to winds gusting to near 45 miles per hour.

“What we’ve got going on is that a pretty strong arctic cold front is going to be moving through our area through Missouri beginning roughly like really late tonight and just kind of pushing through the entire state over the course of the day tomorrow,” according to Brad Charboneau, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. “As this front moves through the area, a few things are going to happen, right along and behind this front, we’re expecting a period of snow, accumulating snow. Not a terribly high amount of snow, but accumulating snow that’ll fall in kind of a brief period with accumulations really throughout the state generally ranging between two to four inches. A little more or a little less here and there, but generally, it’s pretty uniform kind of in that range for most of the state and falling in a very short period of time so within a few hours as that front kind of moves through the area.”

The visibilities may drop below 1/4 mile due to the falling and blowing snow. Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the Thursday morning and evening commutes. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

“In addition to the snow, we’re also going to see temperatures drop very quickly behind this cold front,” according to Charboneau. “(It’s) some of the coldest temperatures we’ve seen since, I believe, since the late 80s in December. It’s a pretty cold air mass for this time of year. We don’t expect a whole lot of records to be broken, but certainly a very cold air mass and, by the time we get to this evening, wind chills throughout the state will be very, very low, generally between 25 to 35 degrees below zero.”

The National Weather Service advises that those doing any sort of driving Thursday and Friday should delay, if possible. If travel is absolutely necessary, drive with extreme caution and be prepared for sudden changes in visibility. Leave room between you and the motorist ahead of you, and allow extra time to reach your destination. Avoid sudden braking or acceleration and be especially cautious on hills or when making turns.

Forecasters also advise to avoid outside activities, if possible. Additionally, when outside, wear appropriate clothing, a hat, and gloves.

Click here for the list of warnings in effect for the state of Missouri.