The brief spell of warm, dry weather in Missouri is coming to an end, and forecasters on Thursday warned that parts of the state are about to get hit with a combination of rain, freezing rain and snow.
Temperatures in the 50s and even approaching 60 degrees were common on Thursday - a nice respite from cold and, in many places, snowy and/or icy weather last weekend. National Weather Service meteorologist Jon Carney said the big change starts Friday - a hodgepodge of precipitation that will depend on temperatures that will rise above and below the freezing point.
The weather service has issued freezing rain advisories in western Missouri, flash flood watches in southwest Missouri and flood watches in the eastern part of the state.
The eastern part of the state will see the most rain. Carney said up to 4 inches of rain is possible Friday through Saturday night, especially south of Interstate 44. Combined with snowmelt from last weekend's storm that dumped up to 8 inches of snow in parts of eastern Missouri, many streams, creeks and small rivers could rise quickly.
"It's definitely a concern that there could be flooding," Carney said. Bigger rivers like the Missouri and Mississippi are well below normal and face no flooding concern.
Western Missouri will get less precipitation, but freezing rain is a worry. Carney said the eastern part of the state will see freezing rain, too, but it should be warm enough that it won't be on the ground long.
Once the rain and freezing rain end, snow follows, at least in the northern part of the state. Carney said the snow should start Saturday night and end by midday Sunday, dumping up to 5 inches on a line from Kansas City to the northeast Missouri town of Kirksville. Mid-Missouri towns like Columbia and Boonville should see 2-3 inches of snow.
Officials with the Missouri Highway Patrol urged motorists to be extra careful, noting that last week's weather resulted in 10 traffic deaths over a 24-hour period. The patrol urged drivers to thoroughly remove snow and ice from the vehicle before driving, allow extra time, and watch out for roads that look wet but are really ice-covered.
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