A Thursday forecast of snow, sleet and other freezing precipitation that largely followed through as predicted will see Missouri Department of Transportation and other municipal street crews working into Friday to get ready for the morning commute.
That, along with a National Weather Service forecast that called for additional nighttime snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch, has led many school districts, including Parkway, Rockwood and Ft. Zumwalt among many others, to cancel classes Friday.
MoDOT Engineer Becky Allmeroth told Patch that the amount of snow was the part of the forecast that didn't follow as planned. Either way, MoDOT said beforehand that it expected crews to be dealing with the aftermath of the storm into Friday morning.
- MoDOT Closing Major Portions of St. Louis Highways to Work on Snow
- Traffic on Major Highways Backed Up Thanks to Snow
- Multiple Accidents Bring Traffic to Standstill on I-64/Hwy. 40
- Winter Storm Cancels More than 160 Flights Out of Lambert
Updated 10 a.m. Thursday:
Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri Thursday morning as the state deals with winter weather.
“A severe winter storm continues to bear down on communities across the state,” Gov. Nixon said in a press release. “Missouri stands ready to help communities in need and to deploy the resources to keep folks safe. I urge all Missourians to keep a close eye on the weather and avoid unnecessary travel.”
Mid-Missouri has already reportedly seen approximately 2.5-3 inches of snow. The Associated Press reports that the weather will close the airport in Kansas City.
Updated 7:55 a.m. Thursday:
According to FOX2's meteorologists, the Thursday forecast shifted overnight, with the result meaning more snow than freezing rain, in the form of approximately 2-3 inches, with the timeline still calling for it to arrive after the AM rush.
As Glenn Zimmerman mentioned in his forecast, the possibility still exists for thunder snow, which could lead to downpours of frozen precipitation in some areas.
The area remains under a Winter Storm Warning until midnight Thursday. You're encouraged to stay off the roads after the morning commute.
When it is safe to do so, take a photo of weather conditions where you are. You can load it right here by clicking on the "Upload Photos and Videos" button. Or, if you post on social media, use the hashtag #stlwx and tell us the town where the photo is located.
Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation have a message for the public as severe winter weather — which could bring up to six inches of snow, sleet and ice to our area — heads our way: Be inside by the time the morning rush ends.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning effective Thursday at 9 a.m. until midnight Thursday, with the potential for up to six inches of snow and sleet, with a little less than a quarter inch of ice.
"Once it hits its going to be intense it's going to be severe and road conditions are going to change very rapidly," Becky Allmeroth, a MoDOT Engineer told reporters at a briefing at the agency's Town and Country Maintenance Center.
Allmeroth described conditions that her team is expecting between noon and 5 p.m. Thursday that could include everything from snow and ice to hail, thunder and lightning.
More than 200 trucks will be back out on the roads starting at midnight Wednesday as crews continue efforts to pre-treat roads. Allmeroth said 450 MoDOT employees will be on duty for the duration, which she said could be into Friday morning. When reporters asked if she had suggestions for businesses and schools as far as scheduling goes, Allmeroth encouraged people to bring work home with them and "be where you're going to be."
"If you're out in this and get caught in it, getting back home could be a very long and stressful event for the motoring public," Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Al Nothum said at the briefing. He added that the last time the area experienced an event like this, some people were stranded for eight hours because emergency crews and highway crews could not maneuver over the ice.
Allmeroth told Patch her biggest concern this time around is that people can't see ice the way they might a few inches of snow, which leads people to go out on the roads, and to drive at higher speeds.
She also added that fluctuating temperatures over the next few days would likely lead to potholes, which will have crews back out soon enough on repair duty.
Editor's Note: Because you shouldn't be driving around in this mess Thursday, take a picture where you are; when you share it on social media, use the hashtag #stlwx. Be sure to tell us the name of the town where the photo was taken.