Schools close, locals ready for next wave of winter

Snowfall predictions range from 5 to 7 inches in Jefferson City

John Reutter of the Jefferson City Streets Department backed his truck out into the sun to perform a final inspection in preparation to hit the streets this morning to clear the snow predicted to fall later this morning. Reutter drives the route from the water tower on West Main Street to Memorial Park and clears the side streets in between. Reutter will be one of more than 20 operators clearing 700 lane miles within the city limits.

John Reutter of the Jefferson City Streets Department backed his truck out into the sun to perform a final inspection in preparation to hit the streets this morning to clear the snow predicted to fall later this morning. Reutter drives the route from the water tower on West Main Street to Memorial Park and clears the side streets in between. Reutter will be one of more than 20 operators clearing 700 lane miles within the city limits. Photo by Julie Smith.

It looks like the groundhog’s forecast for six more weeks of winter will be true.

The forecasters at the National Weather Service in St. Louis said today’s predicted storm is just the start of several days of harsh weather.

“It’s been a long winter so far, and we’re just in February,” said meteorologist Fred Glass.

In anticipation of today’s storm, classes were canceled for today at most area schools, including Jefferson City and Blair Oaks public schools, Helias Catholic High School, Calvary Lutheran High school and parochial elementary schools in Jefferson City as well as Lincoln Universioty and the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.

Samaritan Center also announced it would be closed today.

Jefferson City will be the dividing line for today’s storm, with locations north of the Missouri River possibly getting as much as 5-7 inches of snow and locations south of the river getting 4-5 inches.

“Once we get done with this it will stay very cold over the next 10 days,” Glass said. “Wednesday night into early Thursday morning we’re looking at temperatures around 0 to -5 with highs Thursday only getting to around 15.”

The next snow storm could be Friday night into Saturday, but Glass said it is too early to predict how much we could get from that.

Transportation officials are asking the public to keep updated as much as possible about road conditions through the day and be prepared for the changing weather.

Britt Smith, operations division director for Jefferson City, said the City Council gave the street department funds to buy more salt and quite a bit was used this past weekend when ice and snow hit.

“We still have a good stock, and we’re comfortable with our supplies,” he said.

“Our equipment was also used heavily this weekend, but mechanics worked all day to make sure everything is working for this next storm.”

Smith said tonight’s rush hour is what they’re worried about, due to the forecast of when the heaviest snow is to hit the city.

“We see many times when a storm hits late in the morning or around mid-day people immediately want to get home and sometimes that can be the worst thing,” he said. “You might want to stay a little longer to make sure we can get roads in good shape.”

To check road conditions in Jefferson City, you can go to the city’s Web page, jeffcitymo.org, where there is a banner you can click on to show road conditions. The website will be updated regularly.

Additional resources:

School closings, announcements for Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014

Local forecast, radar, advisories

MoDOT Traveler Information Map

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