By James Baughn, Armchair Weather Guesser
The odds of a snowstorm late this week seem to be increasing, although it's a bit early to ransack store shelves.
Thursday marks the one year anniversary of last year's Mother of All Ice Storms. Over the weekend, the computer models were hinting that the coming storm could dump a bunch of freezing rain and sleet. However, it now appears that enough cold air will be in place to produce mostly snow in Southeast Missouri. So hopefully this won't be the Daughter of All Ice Storms.
Currently, the computer models are projecting that the strongest portion of the storm will pass just to our south. The bullseye for the heaviest snowfall appears to be over the Missouri Bootheel. This afternoon's forecast discussion from St. Louis explains:
"THERE IS GOING TO BE AN EXTREMELY TIGHT GRADIENT TO THE SNOWFALL ON THE N SIDE OF THIS STORM. A SLIGHT CHANGE IN THE PATH OF THE STORM IS GOING TO HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON THE SNOWFALL THAT ANY ONE LOCATION IN S MO/S IL RECEIVED...SO BEING WRONG BY A LITTLE WILL MEAN BEING WRONG BY A LOT. BECAUSE OF THIS...IT STILL TOO EARLY TO GIVE SPECIFIC SNOWFALL TOTALS."
The Springfield, Missouri, discussion gives a similar disclaimer, but goes out on a limb to forecast specific accumulation totals: 7 inches for the Arkansas-Missouri border, sharply dropping to 1 inch for the Lake of the Ozarks area.
Meanwhile, our own Paducah office also has trouble forecasting the path of the storm. They are expecting snow to fall somewhere, though: "SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW ACCUMULATION IS CERTAINLY POSSIBLE... SHOULD THIS FORECAST EVENT PAN OUT AS THE MODELS SUGGEST." The discussion adds, "THIS SYSTEM IS NOT EXPECTED TO RESEMBLE LAST YEARS STORM."
Here's the obligatory Dartboard Forecast: