Winter Storm "Beatles" still looks poised to deliver a variety of gifts (snow, sleet, but mostly freezing rain) starting tomorrow morning and lasting through Thursday. The best chance for freezing rain appears to be Wednesday night.
Most of the computer models still depict the storm as rather weak, capable of only delivering 0.05 to 0.10 inch of ice accumulation in Southeast Missouri. The precipitation projection from HPC shows us getting less than 0.10 inch total:
On the other hand, the NAM model wants to drop almost a quarter-inch of ice at Cape Girardeau. This is a scary prospect, but it currently seems unlikely.
Last year, Brad Hollerbach suggested the BREAD Index to show the level of panic by shoppers as they ransack stores for bread, milk, eggs, and, most importantly, beer. The BREAD Index, or Blizzard Response Eats Acquisition Degrees, has five degrees of panic for an approaching winter storm:
Degree 1. Buy one loaf of bread
Degree 2. Buy one tray of bread
Degree 3. Buy enough bread to last until Memorial Day
Degree 4. Ransack entire contents of bakery aisle
Degree 5. Holdup every bread truck within 200 miles and/or grind all available flower to make own bread
So far this storm only warrants a BREAD Index of 1, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Level 2 or 3 before it's all over. Based on the experience of previous ice storms, the mere mention of the phrase "freezing rain likely" is enough to send chills down everyone's spine.
Indeed, the forecast does include the phrase "freezing rain likely". Here is the official forecast for Cape Girardeau:
TONIGHT: MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF SNOW. LOWS AROUND 19. SOUTHEAST WINDS 5 MPH.
WEDNESDAY: MOSTLY CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF SNOW OR SLEET OR FREEZING RAIN IN THE MORNING...THEN A CHANCE OF FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S. SOUTHEAST WINDS 5 TO 10 MPH. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 40 PERCENT.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: FREEZING RAIN LIKELY. ICE ACCUMULATION OF LESS THAN ONE QUARTER OF AN INCH. LOWS IN THE UPPER 20S. EAST WINDS AROUND 5 MPH IN THE EVENING SHIFTING TO THE NORTHEAST 5 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 60 PERCENT.
THURSDAY: MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF RAIN FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S. NORTH WINDS 5 TO 10 MPH.
I'm not convinced that this is going to be a serious ice storm for Southeast Missouri, although even the tiniest glaze of ice on the roads is enough to cause plenty of trouble.
Here is the latest Weather or Not Unscientific Wild Guess Dartboard Simulation for the storm: