NEW BLOOMFIELD — A Winter Storm Watch was issued by the National Weather Service early Thursday morning ahead of the first winter storm of 2019.
This Winter Storm Watch begins Friday afternoon for Camden, Morgan, Miller, Maries, Phelps, Pulaski, Cooper, Moniteau, Cole, Osage, Gasconade, Howard, Boone, Callaway, Montgomery, Randolph, and Audrain County and lasts through Saturday evening.
Heavy snow of 4 to 7 inches and light freezing rain or sleet accumulation could lead to slippery, snow covered roads and hazardous driving conditions. A Winter Storm Watch is typically issued at least 36 hours in advance of approaching conditions that could lead to a Winter Storm Warning.
Several key weather elements will come together over the Plains and Midwest leading to an efficient, "precipitation making" winter storm for Missouri and Illinois in particular.
Temperatures will remain above freezing as this winter storm moves in Friday afternoon, so light freezing rain or sleet is possible before precipitation transitions to all snow for the rest of the storm.
This will primarily affect southern mid-Missouri, where there could be a small accumulation of ice before snow begins to fall.
Once temperatures fall close to or below freezing, snow will take over as the main precipitation type for the rest of the winter storm. The heaviest snow will fall overnight Friday and into Saturday morning.
Light to moderate snowfall will continue Saturday morning before flurries lighten up Saturday afternoon. This weather pattern will move west to east, so towns closer to St. Louis could be impacted by snow after sunset Saturday.
Conditions will be dry by Sunday morning, but roads could be slippery or snow covered for the rest of the weekend. Clouds will stick around Sunday as well, so minimal to no snow is expected to melt until early next week.
On average, mid-Missouri could pick up between 3 to 6 inches of snow from this winter storm.
On the low end, only an inch of snow is expected in areas that will be impacted by freezing rain or sleet Friday afternoon south of highway 50. Sleet will skew or alter any potential snow accumulations. On the high end, up to 8 inches may be possible for towns north and east of highways 63 and 54, closer to Hannibal.
It is likely this Winter Storm Watch will be replaced with either Winter Weather Advisories or Winter Storm Warnings Friday. Winds will remain light during the winter storm, so no Blizzard Warnings are expected.
If these weather alerts are issued, a separate article will be written.
For the latest weather information, follow KRCG 13 Meteorologists Zach Paul and Elyse Smith.
To follow Zach Paul, click here.
To follow Elyse Smith, click here.
To read the initial Winter Storm Watch issued by the National Weather Service, click here.