The Jefferson City area was spared Saturday from any semblance of a repeat of last weekend's heavy snowstorm, but the region was still forecast to face at least one more night of bitter cold — and warming centers are available.
Patrick Walsh, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said Saturday morning that no reports of snow or ice in the Jefferson City area had been received. However, the National Weather Service, as of about noon Saturday, forecast an overnight low of 10 degrees, a daytime high today of 24 and a nighttime low tonight of 18.
The Salvation Army, Jefferson City's primary warming center, provides 40 overnight cots — 20 for men and 20 for women — when temperatures fall below 40. When temperatures drop to freezing, 32 degrees Fahrenheit, or below, the dining hall is opened to hold up to another 50 people.
"We try to use as much space as possible," Corp Officer Lt. Rachel White said last week. "We just want people to be safe."
In addition to the 24/7 availability of Salvation Army as a warming center, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services also lists Capital Mall and the Missouri River Regional Library are available in Cole County as warming centers for at least part of days on a weekend.
The mall's hours on Sundays are listed by the department as 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and the library's hours are 1-5 p.m. The Clarke Senior Center on Linden Drive also becomes another daytime option on weekdays. The state health department's full warming center listings are available at ogi.oa.mo.gov/DHSS/warmingCenter/.
Though no snow or ice fell in Jefferson City overnight into Saturday, leaders of local road crews said they had been prepared.
"All dressed up, but no place to go" was how Jefferson City Operations Director Britt Smith described it. "We monitored all night long, but didn't have any need to bring in any crews," he said.
Smith added all of the city's 24 drivers, plus support staff, had been on standby, but nothing was put down on city streets — including no pretreatment, because of the rain.
Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz likewise said even though everyone had been on standby, the county did not have any crews on the roads during the night — though he added bridges, overpasses and some hills that have had icing problems before were treated Saturday morning.
Benz said this weekend would hopefully be a chance for workers to get caught up on rest and personal matters at home after last weekend's tough work.
"We've gotten a lot more snow than normal and a decent amount of more rain than normal for the winter period," the National Weather Service's Walsh said.
The meteorological winter for the NWS starts Dec. 1, Walsh said, and since then, he said the Columbia site has recorded precipitation 3.5 inches above normal, and 9.4 inches of snow above normal — normal being based on climate records.
Rain and last week's above-freezing daytime temperatures have melted much of the snow that fell last weekend. Despite the combination of that snow melt and rain, the National Weather Service's online records indicated Saturday that local rivers don't show any flooding. The Osage River near St. Thomas had already crested, and the Moreau and Missouri rivers near or at Jefferson City were projected to crest sometime today or Monday.