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Science and the Environment

UPDATE: Ice Accumulations Possible in the Ozarks Early Friday into Saturday

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Kaarina Dillabough
/
Flickr

A winter storm is headed for Missouri. National Weather Service forecasters expect freezing rain to develop across much of southern Missouri late tonight (1/12) before spreading north into the rest of the area tomorrow into tomorrow night.  The wintry precipitation is expected to continue off and on into the weekend, especially across central Missouri.

Forecasters say the freezing line is currently expected to be near the Arkansas border when precipitation begins late tonight and will slowly move north tomorrow into Saturday with freezing rain chancing to rain as temperatures warm up.

According to the National Weather Service, at this time it appears that areas south of Highway 60 and I-44 will get a total of one quarter to a half inch of ice accumulation.  The highest amounts are expected across central and west central Missouri where accumulations could exceed three-quarters of an inch.

Original Story:  A very strong Arctic front is expected to move into the Ozarks, and with it will come freezing rain and possible ice accumulations late tomorrow night into Saturday.  A winter storm watch is in effect late tomorrow night through Saturday afternoon.  That’s contrasted with the very warm temperatures we had today.  The high in Springfield—73 degrees—tied with the record high on this day in 1911.

Meteorologist Rob Frye doesn’t expect any major travel impact from the winter weather initially.  But as temperatures drop, possibly below freezing, Friday, and a couple of rounds of freezing rain and rain move through, roads could get icy.

"Our confidence in receiving freezing rain is continuing to grow.  The exact amount and exactly when that 32 degree line will push to the north is questionable," said Frye.

He said, eventually the 32 degree line will move north, changing freezing precipitation in the Springfield area to rain.

But, according to Frye, from the storm’s onset Friday morning through around noon on Saturday we “could see some potentially impactful accumulations.”