ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) – What a difference a day makes: Wednesday people across Missouri wore light jackets and walked slowly to their cars basking in the spring-like weather.
But as night fell, temperatures dropped. They will remain around or below freezing for the next seven days.
Late Wednesday the National Weather Service issued winter weather warnings for southern Illinois and Missouri. Areas south of Interstate 44 are expected to get a mix of ice and snow up to 8 inches by Friday night.
“Certainly power outages are going to be a real threat,” said Scott Truett, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis. As for driving, snow on top of ice “is a very bad combination,” Truett said.
But the news is better for those living in St. Louis City and St. Louis County.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kramper said to expect some freezing rain and sleet during the evening rush hour. That will turn to snow overnight.
The St. Louis region is expected to see about 2-3 inches of snow.
Frigid cold will make the season’s first winter storm memorable. The Show-Me State is expected to see highs reach into the high 20s or low 30s, a sharp decline from highs in the 60s in many places just 24 hours earlier.
St. Louis reached 69 degrees on Wednesday; afternoon temperatures on Thursday expected to be 40 degrees colder.
Forecasters expect the cold snap to last into next week, Truett said.
“We’ll be running some 20 degrees below normal,” he said.
Sleet, ice and snow were already falling over much of central and southern Missouri on Thursday morning. The northern tier of the state was spared and expected to see little, if any, precipitation, Truett said.
The Missouri Department of Transportation said roads remained mostly clear across Missouri. A few accidents were blamed on slippery roads, but there were no immediate reports of serious injuries or fatalities.
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