Freezing rain, freezing drizzle, sleet and snow blanket area as another winter storm slams Missouri during first full week of February

Friday, February 8, 2019
Sunlight glistens through ice that has accumulated on vegetation and fencing on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 7. A winter storm that started Tuesday morning left a trail of sleet, freezing rain, freezing drizzle and snow across the region by the time the sun cam back into view late Thursday.
Bob Stewart/The Concordian

The heaviest of the freezing rain arrived in western Missouri late in the afternoon on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and moved across the state overnight. The storm left a combination of freezing drizzle, sleet, ice and snow across the region before the sun came out Thursday morning.

National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Gary Beissenherz, of Concordia, said the weather event actually started in Concordia on Tuesday morning, Feb. 5.

“A fine mist started about 11 a.m. Tuesday, with freezing mist and drizzle continuing throughout the day and night, forming an ice glaze on exposed surfaces,” Beissenherz reported. “We had 0.08 inch of precipitation with ice glaze by 7 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6.”

Beissenherz reported freezing mist and drizzle continued all day Wednesday.

“Rain got heavier about 10 p.m. for a short while, and then moderate freezing rain, with some lightning after midnight. (Another) 0.52 of precipitation made a heavier ice coating on surfaces by 7 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7.”

Beissenherz also said Concordia saw light freezing mist for a while Thursday morning, with a few snow flurries before noon and flurries again in the afternoon, bringing only a trace of precipitation and a trace of snow by 7 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8.

By Wednesday morning, Interstate 70 through Lafayette County was littered with cars, pickup trucks and tractor-trailer rigs that had slid off frozen surfaces, either after coming into contact with other vehicles or unexpectedly driving onto ice-covered sections of the roadway.

The Highway Patrol warned Thursday of snow- and ice-covered roads in the northern and western parts of the state, the Associated Press reported. The National Weather Service issued ice storm warnings and winter weather advisories Thursday for much of Missouri.

The National Weather Service has forecast potential for another round of wintry precipitation starting Saturday night and lasting into Sunday due to a low pressure system passing through the region, with temperatures staying at or below freezing. Forecasts anticipate snow Sunday morning in northern Missouri, with a light glazing possible for areas south of I-70. However, with the system still a couple of days away, forecasters said it was too early to say in what form the precipitation would come.

There were numerous reports of thunder sleet early Thursday morning. The concern then turned to wind gusts of up to 35 mph, which could lead to tree damage and power outages.

Accumulations from freezing rain and sleet have turned to ice on surfaces and pavements and the National Weather Service reported 0.5 inch at its office in Pleasant Hill. Most areas reported between 0.15 inch and 0.3 inch of ice before the storm was over. Warrensburg reported 0.6 inch of ice accumulation by Thursday morning.

Law enforcement agencies encouraged drivers to add extra time to their normal drive and to avoid any unnecessary travel for the duration of the storm.

Most school districts across the region canceled classes for Thursday and Friday.

Wind chill values dropped as low as -10 degrees Friday morning with the actual low near 0 to 10 degrees. Sunshine returned Friday, with highs expected in the lower 20s.

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