The KOMU 8 First Alert Weather Team is in Storm Mode 3 (0 to 5 scale) for this storm, meaning that we expect issues and hazardous travel is possible.
Through the overnight hours we saw freezing drizzle form, which has led to frozen windshields and possibly some icy patches on roads too. This freezing drizzle activity will continue until around 8am when sleet and snow will begin to develop around the region.
Yes. Apparently there is freezing drizzle outside even though the radar appears dry over MissouriCould see some icy roads and icy windshields this morning in central Missouri #mowx pic.twitter.com/wB7VvItFBf
— Tim Schmidt (@komuTim) February 24, 2022
The second and main round of winter weather will arrive Thursday morning and will last through most of the day. This round of precipitation is expected to contain snow and sleet in the morning. The heaviest of this precipitation will be between 9am and 1pm where the bulk of snow and sleet accumulations will be received.
Sleet is anticipated due to warm air, above freezing, in the mid levels of our atmosphere which melts snow into water droplets. As this warmer air cools in the afternoon we will see a transition to all snowfall.
Dry air will start to mix in through the afternoon, allowing for lighter snowfall. Snow will come to an end late Thursday night.
Accumulations are generally expected to be lower than what we saw with the last couple of storms.
Expected snowfall has shifted due to the advent of freezing drizzle overnight. Locations across our north and western counties will see anywhere from a trace to 1” of snow accumulation. A band of slightly higher totals, 1-2”, is possible in an area ranging from the Columbia to Mark Twain Lake and Hannibal. Lower snow totals can now be expected over Jefferson City to the Lake of the Ozarks to st louis where that region will receive mainly sleet with some light afternoon/evening snow.
Sleet up to 0.25” can be expected for areas along and nearby the I-70 corridor. Higher amounts of 0.50” or more can be expected along and south of I-70, especially along and south of Hwy 50. Primarily only sleet accumulations are expected for locations along I-44 from Springfield, Lake of the Ozarks, Rolla and into the St Louis area on Thursday which is why there is now a 0.75″ contour for sleet.
We will need to watch those temperatures aloft that allow for the formation of sleet. If we get more sleet out of this storm we will get less snowfall. If we get less sleet of this storm we will get more snowfall.
Additionally, there is a lot of dry air to our north that will mix in with the system allowing for some dry time particularly Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.
The main uncertainty will be the mixture of sleet vs. snow – how much sleet? Our confidence is a lot higher for snow and sleet totals and timing now overall our confidence in this forecast is “moderately-high.”
Wednesday afternoon’s snow did produce covered roadways across southern portions of the viewing area, but crews will have time to treat these through the night. Conditions south of I-70 should show subtle improvements. North of I-70, things should remain in good shape.
Key Things: No rain with this system, so road crews can pre-treat highways. Also, no frigid temps during the precipitation, so treatments Will be effective.
Once the second round of precipitation begins roads will quickly become sleet and snow covered. Visibility will be reduced at times, but should be better than what we’ve seen with the last couple of storms. If you have to travel, take it slow and give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be.
Snow ends late Thursday night, but travel could remain tricky for Friday especially in the morning.
A drier pattern is set to begin on Friday as temperatures begin a slow warming trend through the weekend.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism