At almost 3:30pmCT, the snow once again started flying in southern Missouri. As of yet, it’s just flurries, but they are getting steadily heavier and thicker as darkness approaches.
An additional 3 to 6 inches of snow are likely to fall by Sunday morning. The heaviest snowfall is expected northwest of line from Iola to Coffeyville, and the bulk of the snow is expected to come down before midnight.
The temperature is unexpectedly mild. With very little wind so far, I was able to walk outside and take pictures with only a hooded sweatshirt on over my regular outfit. It barely seems cold enough to keep the snow frozen, yet it’s falling in huge flakes and beginning to pile up and blanket the landscape like a Christmas card picture.
A Snow Advisory, which means that periods of snow will cause travel difficulties, remains in effect until 6amCT on Sunday. Drivers are warned to be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities.
Attached to this article are pictures of the early stages of this storm, which is expected to accumulate up to an inch of new snow and then turn to sleet this afternoon. An additional snow and sleet accumulation of 2 to 4 inches is then expected during the Saturday-to-Sunday overnight period.
Residents through out the region made plans to stay indoors and double-checked their supplies for this weekend, as forecasters warned of an additional 5 to 8 inches of snow on the way.
Even the birds seemed to know of the coming storm. Earlier in the day, they could be seen frantically working, perhaps gathering their own supplies, only to disappear as the first of the snow began falling on their homes.
Much of the area is still without power after the last winter storm turned 32 counties of Missouri into Federal Disaster Areas just a week ago. Several deaths have been attributed to the storm as desperate residents used gasoline and propane for heat, without proper ventilation. As of Friday morning (January 19th), 77,000 individuals remained without power in southwest Missouri.
Soldiers from the Missouri National Guard 203rd Battalion have been dispatched to help deal with the storm aftermath, and Governor Matt Blunt personally toured in Joplin on Friday, speaking with residents there.
In the time it’s taken me to type this report, the storm is already intensifying. I can now hear the steady ‘plinking’ sound of tiny balls of ice raining down, as they replace the fluffy flakes of snow.
Please click on the author’s name (above the article) to read more of her work on Associated Content.