The old saying — "If you don't like the weather in Missouri, just wait one day" — is playing out live and in color.
Thursday's temperatures in Mid-Missouri topped 60 degrees with sunny skies. But the National Weather Service in St. Louis has forecast a high temperature around 30 degrees Friday with up to 4 inches of snow.
The NWS issued a Winter Weather Advisory to begin at 9 a.m. Friday and extend through midnight, affecting Mid-Missouri counties including Cole, Boone, Callaway, Moniteau and Osage.
Snow is expected start around mid-day Friday and continue through the night. A second round of snow is forecast for Saturday night, but that storm was expected to bring less than an inch of snow.
Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz said his department's first priority is to treat and plow paved roads, followed by gravel roads.
"We spent Thursday getting equipment on the trucks, and we'll have them loaded and ready to go when the snow falls," Benz said. "We've had a lot of storms to deal with this year, but it's a cycle. Some years we don't have any. You just roll with the punches."
Jefferson City Public Works Director Matt Morasch said Wednesday and Thursday's warm temperatures should help in treating the roads.
"We had pavement temperatures get up to 70 on Thursday, and when you have the warmer temperatures it takes longer to cool the pavement down, so the road treatment should be more effective," Morasch said.
When it comes to the city's plowing processes, all streets receive the same priority, Morasch said.
"What that means is that all streets are plowed at the same time, whether it's a residential street or an arterial street, which means the more well traveled streets such as High and McCarty," Morasch said.
Jefferson City has 24 dedicated snow plows. Twenty of those trucks hit specific routes, and four are "floater trucks" that hit other areas as needed.
"If we focused just on the arterial and left the subdivisions until the end, it would probably be harder to get to those subdivisions," Morasch said. "You would have people trying to drive on it and packing the snow down, which makes it harder to clean."
On state-maintained roads, the Missouri Department of Transportation prioritizes plowing interstates first, with crews starting on the highest-volume roads. All remaining less-traveled roads are plowed to allow for two-way traffic concentrating on hills, curves and intersections, officials noted. Lower-volume roads likely will remain somewhat snow-covered until the higher-volume roads are mostly clear.
Road conditions are posted on MoDOT's Traveler Information Map and on the MoDOT Traveler Information mobile app.
MoDOT also provides road condition information through its Customer Service Center at 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636).