Webmaster's note: I'll be posting updates on Twitter as semoweather for this and future winter storms.
As much as we'd like to see a nice, quality "Currier and Ives" postcard-perfect winter-wonderland snowstorm, it's just not in the cards. Winter Storm "Hendrix" looks like a rain-maker for Cape Girardeau. The big question is whether that rain is going to be liquid or freezing.
Most of the computer models show us getting all liquid rain, except for maybe a dusting of snow at the tail end of the storm as a cold front arrives. However, one model (the NAM) has flip-flopped and brings enough colder air tomorrow to change the rain to freezing rain. Here is the NAM projection for Tuesday afternoon:
In their afternoon discussion, the forecasters at the Paducah NWS office explained that they aren't putting much stock in the NAM model. They expect mostly rain (with perhaps isolated thunderstorms), followed by "snow accumulation up to 1 inch" tomorrow night at Cape Girardeau.
For the rest of Missouri, however, it's going to get ugly. The hype and hyperbole is through the roof. The storm has been called "epic", "historic", and even "colossal." I haven't seen any mention of a "snowmegeddon" or "icepocalypse", but that will come soon enough.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has already declared a state of emergency. Blizzard warnings are in effect for a large swath of the state, as heavy snow (and thundersnow) will be followed by vicious winds.
The GFS computer model suggests that a large part of Missouri could see 18+ inch accumulations. I'm seeing colors on these graphics that are rarely depicted for Missouri:
To add insult to injury, the longer-range computer models are already hinting at another storm next Monday. It's too early to tell whether this will be a rain-maker or a snow-maker for us, but it could add to the awesome snow accumulations over the rest of the state.
While we will probably dodge the bullet with "Hendrix", I'm a bit concerned that this storm -- like so many before it -- could bring a big surprise. With that in mind, here's the latest Dartboard Wild Guess: