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Bitter cold to continue after weekend snow

Bitter cold to continue after weekend snow

January 3rd, 2014 in News

TLC's "Waterfalls" song plays on Pandora as Antoine Clayborne shovels the driveway of his parent's home Thursday after Jefferson City was coated in a layer of snow Wednesday night. Clayborne said after clearing his parents driveway he would also need to shovel his own next door.

Photo by Katie Alaimo

It looks like the Jefferson City area could start 2014 with temperatures that could reach lows not seen here in 20 years.

Meteorologist Fred Glass also another couple inches of snow could fall Saturday night and possibly into Sunday morning.

"Behind the system bringing that in is some very cold air," he said. "Through Tuesday we'll have single digit highs and lows below zero. The snow on the ground will help keep the temperatures cold. Our average high for this time of the year is in the upper 30s, but we won't hit that until late next week."

After a brief warm-up today and Saturday, the forecast for Sunday night is calling for a low of -8 degrees, followed by a Monday high of 7 and then another night dropping to -4.

Area road crews battling winter weather Wednesday night into Thursday morning had more issues with the freezing temperatures than the snow that fell.

Britt Smith, Jefferson City Operations Division director, said for a winter storm, it was as good as you could expect.

"We started at 8 p.m. Wednesday and worked all night," he said. "The sun helped warm up the pavement during the day Thursday so we could push off the snow. Every snow is different. We had a real dry one this time."

Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz said the salt doesn't work as well during very cold temperatures.

"When it gets down 15-20 degrees the salt has a hard time working by itself so it took longer to start breaking up the snow this time because we went lower than those levels," he said. "We added liquid calcium to get the salt to work."

According to MoDOT, a pound of salt can melt 46 pounds of ice at 30 degrees. That drops to 14.4 pounds at 25 degrees and at 0 degrees, it melts just less than 4 pounds of ice.

These frigid, windy snows are the hardest to treat.

"Snow storms that produce just a little over a longer time are a real pain, but this one was not too bad," Smith said. "There never is a good snowstorm, but this was not the worst one. Refreeze is what we have to watch for the next few days. Residents need to be careful on sidewalks, that's where many of the slick spots will be. We've had reports of people slipping and falling so they need to be careful walking in this weather."

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