Area receives less snowfall than expected; temperatures drop

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Monday's winter storm produced less snow than expected but left behind low temperatures and icy roads that caused numerous traffic accidents.

Snow began falling in the area late Monday afternoon and moved out of the area around 7 a.m. Tuesday. However, light snow fell later in the day.

Accumulations from Monday's storm ranged from 2 inches in Cape Girardeau and Jackson to 4.5 inches in Charleston, Mo., the National Weather Service reported. Marble Hill, Perryville and Sikeston in Southeast Missouri all received 3 inches of snow.

Monday's forecast had called for 4 to 6 inches in many areas, but meteorologist Dan Spaeth said the area did not receive the moderate and heavy snowfall that would have "piled up in a hurry."

Since Jan. 1, Cape Girardeau has received 11.2 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. The average total winter snowfall is about 11 inches.

High temperatures are expected to stay in the low to mid-30s until the weekend. Nighttime lows today and Thursday likely will dip into the teens.

By late Tuesday, the Cape Girardeau Police Department reported that officers had responded to 11 weather-related accidents, while Jackson police responded to three accidents. Missouri State Highway Patrol officers responded to about 12 minor traffic accidents through early Tuesday afternoon.

Icy roads prompted many area schools to call off classes for the day, but students at Cape Girardeau County's two largest districts were in class.

Dr. Ron Anderson, superintendent of the Jackson School District, said he and others monitored the road conditions and the forecast early Tuesday to make their decision.

Dr. Jim Welker, superintendent of the Cape Girardeau School District, said the decision was made at 5:30 a.m., when his observations were that the roads were in good condition.

"We had been driving the roads for a few hours and things looked in pretty good shape at the time," Welker said. "That was when we had to make a decision whether or not to have school.

"But when the roads began to freeze over we already had buses out and it was too late to change our decision," he said. "I certainly understand some people's complaints, but it just caught us off guard."

bblackwell@semissourian.com

388-3628

Pertinent address:

614 E. Adams St., Jackson, MO

301 N. Clark Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

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