Dropping degrees bring on big chill to region

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Southeast Missourians may be in for the most frigid weather of the year during the next two weeks, as forecasters call for snow and temperatures 20 degrees below normal.

AccuWeather.com meteorologists said Friday that snow expected in the Plains this weekend is just the beginning of a wintry two-week period for areas east of the Rockies.

While some parts of the eastern United States may see blizzard-like conditions, meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky., said the verdict isn't as severe for Southeast Missouri.

Meteorologist Chris Noles said the National Weather Service is calling for up to a half-inch of ice tonight for areas north of Farmington toward St. Louis and Mount Vernon, Ill., but it shouldn't affect the Cape Girardeau area.

Some precipitation is expected before the end of next week, and by Friday, high temperatures are expected to be in the low 20s, Noles said.

"That's about 20 degrees below the normal for this time of the year," Noles said. "Other than that, I don't see anything tremendous coming out of this."

The drop in temperatures will have little effect on local crops, but can pose a safety hazard for livestock, according to specialists with the University Extension Service in Jackson.

Wheat is currently the only crop growing in Southeast Missouri and is designed for cold weather, so no problems are expected. However, Roger Eakins, regional livestock specialist at the extension service, said subfreezing temperatures can double the energy requirements of cattle and other animals.

"It's important to keep enough good-quality hay out for them," Eakins said. "They need it just to keep going."

AccuWeather.com is forecasting three significant snowstorms for areas east of the Rockies over the next three days.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: