UPDATE: Ice Storm Warning continues
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MID-MISSOURI - An Ice Storm Warning has been issued until noon Thursday for much of the western half of Missouri. This is due to potential ice accumulations up to 0.50" leading to nearly impassible roads and chances for spotty power outages, as well as tree damage.
Side note: Wondering how freezing rain forms? Check out this video explainer.
Freezing rain and freezing thunderstorms will continue overnight for the area within the Ice Storm Warning. Elsewhere it will be regular rain and regular thunderstorms. Some storm may be strong and include quarter-sized hail.
Note that the freezing line may shift north and south, back and forth, throughout the event. This a dynamic system and there will be quite a battle between warm and cold air at each level of the atmosphere. This line will generally run from Mexico to Columbia to Versailles, waving 10-20 miles north and south.
There is some good news in that when rain is falling hard, it won't be able to accumulate much on roads, at least where temps are closer to the 32-degree freezing point...if temps are below 30 then road accumulation will be more likely. This is because the rain will be moving too quickly toward a ditch to stop and freeze. However, it will accumulate on elevated surfaces such as trees, power lines and vehicles.
The rain will wash away any treatment of the roads, meaning slick conditions are expected to form rapidly once the rain lets up. The rain may go from heavy to moderate to light and back and forth throughout the event. This will wash away treatment on roads and as mentioned above, ice will form on roads once the rain is light or stopped.
Flooding is also possible overnight.
IT CONTINUES THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING
The rain will begin to let up around 7-9am. This is when roads will be in the biggest danger. Ice will form rapidly as the rain lets up. The morning commute may be dangerous in areas under the Ice Storm Warning.
Temperatures will continue to drop through the day, reaching the 20s by mid-morning. Some light rain may turn into light snow. Snow accumulations are not expected, but it may lightly dust over some of the ice.
Also of note will be winds. They will pick up as a cold front pushes through. This means that with ice on power lines and trees, some may fall due to wind gusts between 20-35 mph Thursday morning and afternoon. We do not anticipate a crippling event across the entire region. However, areas with weaker infrastructure, especially rural areas, should anticipate and prepare for power outages. Everyone has a chance to at least have spotty outages.
What little snow we see fall will move out by early afternoon. Skies will clear overnight and temps will plummet to between 5 and 10 degrees by sunrise Friday.
Areas within the Ice Storm Warning have the potential to see anywhere from 0.10" to 0.50" on elevated surfaces. The most ice accumulation (the higher end of the range) will likely fall in areas north and west of Boone county. For example, I anticipate around 0.10" to 0.25" in Columbia while Moberly and Boonville is expected to get 0.25" to 0.50". For reference, Jefferson City would likely see 0.10" max.
Ice accumulation will be greatest on elevated surfaces. In other words, these accumulation amounts won't translate directly to roads. Roads will still be icy, especially during breaks of heavy rainfall. Rushing water won't freeze to roads. Light or still water will. pic.twitter.com/Gzu7bS0MZA— Kenton Gewecke (@KentonGewecke) February 6, 2019
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