Update: Blizzard warning, 'no-travel' advisory in effect for Southeast Missouri

Monday, December 24, 2012 ~ Updated 12:40 AM

Update, Wednesday early morning

Special weather statement from the National Weather Service, 11:55 p.m.

WIDESPREAD SNOW AND SLEET WILL CONTINUE TO DEVELOP AND MOVE NORTH ACROSS THE QUAD STATE REGION THROUGH 2 AM. SOME LOCATIONS WILL ALSO HEAR SOME THUNDER...AND THESE AREAS WILL SEE INCREASED ACCUMULATIONS OF SLEET AND SNOW. THE INCREASING COVERAGE AND INTENSITY WILL LEAD TO QUICKLY DETERIORATING ROAD CONDITIONS...AND COMBINED WITH WINDS GUSTING TO 35 TO 45 MPH...DRIVING WILL BECOME HAZARDOUS DURING THE OVERNIGHT HOURS. PLEASE USE EXTREME CAUTION.IF TRAVELING...AND CONSIDER CHANGING YOUR TRAVEL PLANS.

Update, Christmas night

From the National Weather Service:

A BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST WEDNESDAY.

* SNOWFALL AMOUNTS: ACROSS SOUTHEAST MISSOURI AND MOST OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS...6 TO 12 INCHES OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED. LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE POSSIBLE IN SMALL BANDS OF INTENSE SNOWFALL.

* WINDS: WINDS TONIGHT WILL INCREASE TO AROUND 25 MPH...WITH

FREQUENT GUSTS FROM 35 TO 45 MPH. THESE STRONG WINDS WILL

PERSIST THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING. THE COMBINATION OF THESE

GUSTY WINDS AND THE FALLING SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WILL REDUCE

VISIBILITIES TO NEAR ZERO AT TIMES.

* TIMING: SNOW WILL GRADUALLY SPREAD NORTH AND EAST OVER THE

REGION THROUGH THE EVENING...LIKELY STARTING AS A MIX OF RAIN

AND SNOW. THE HEAVIEST SNOW AND STRONGEST WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO

OCCUR BETWEEN 10 PM THIS EVENING AND 6 AM WEDNESDAY. WEATHER

CONDITIONS WILL IMPROVE BETWEEN 6 AM AND NOON ON WEDNESDAY.

ROADWAYS WILL TAKE LONGER TO IMPROVE.

* IMPACTS: BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED. EXPECT TRAVEL TO

BECOME VERY DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE. BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW

COULD MAKE ROADS IMPASSABLE THROUGH MUCH OF THE DAY WEDNESDAY. WHITEOUT CONDITIONS MAY CREATE A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION FOR THOSE VENTURING OUTDOORS. BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW MAY CONTINUE NTO WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON.

* OTHER IMPACTS: THE HEAVY WET SNOW AND STRONG WINDS MAY BRING

DOWN SOME TREES AND POWER LINES. IN ADDITION...SHOVELING

HEAVY WET SNOW HAS CAUSED HEART ATTACKS...BACK PROBLEMS...AND

OTHER ISSUES IN PAST WINTER STORMS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE

EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITY LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT

CONDITIONS...MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF

YOU MUST TRAVEL...HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET

STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

Update, Christmas evening

From the National Weather Service:

A LARGE AREA OF LIGHT SNOW MIXED WITH LIGHT RAIN AND SLEET WILL

CONTINUE TO MOVE NORTH ACROSS SOUTHEAST MISSOURI THIS EVENING. BY

730 PM...THE LEADING EDGE OF THE PRECIPITATION WILL REACH A LINE

FROM ALLIANCE...TO MARBLE HILL...TO CAPE GIRARDEAU. THE

PRECIPITATION WILL GRADUALLY BECOME ALL SNOW THROUGH THE EVENING

AS NORTHEAST WINDS INCREASE TO 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 35 MPH.

Update, Christmas late afternoon

With hazardous winter weather approaching, Cape Girardeau officials are encouraging everyone to stay home this evening. The National Weather Service is predicting a winter mix beginning at 7 p.m. Blizzard-like conditions are possible at 9 p.m. Road crews are on stand-by to clear roads as quickly as possible.

Update, Christmas Day afternoon

Because of predicted blizzard conditions in Southeast Missouri during the evening and overnight hours, the Missouri Department of Transportation advises motorists to avoid travel in this area of the state. The advisory remains in effect until conditions improve and maintenance crews are able to treat and plow Southeast Missouri roadways.

"The storm will most likely affect the southeast corner of Missouri and we anticipate sustained strong winds and heavy snowfall," said Beth Wright, state maintenance engineer. "This storm could create whiteout conditions, which will make travel hazardous and clearing roads extremely difficult."

Motorists should be advised that travel during this type of storm is very dangerous. Should you attempt to travel, bring your mobile phone and winter-survival supplies.

If you do become stranded:

* Stay with your vehicle

* Call 911, but aware that emergency responders may have difficulty reaching you.

Update, Christmas Day

According to a revised forecast from the National Weather Service released Tuesday afternoon, about six to 12 inches of snow is expected across Southeast Missouri and most of Southern Illinois. Locally higher amounts are possible in small bands of intense snowfall. A blizzard warning remains in effect from 6 p.m. this evening to noon Wednesday. The heaviest snow and strongest winds are expected to occur between 10 p.m. this evening and 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Heavy wet snow and strong winds may bring down some trees and power lines, according to the National Weather Service.

Update, Christmas Morning

The National Weather Service has upgraded the blizzard watch to a blizzard warning for Southeast Missouri. The warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Tuesday to noon Wednesday. According to the latest forecast, about 4 to 8 inches of snow is expected over Southeast Missouri, combining with high winds to cause poor visibility.

Update, Monday afternoon

The National Weather Service on Monday upgraded the winter storm watch to a blizzard watch for Southeast Missouri, in effect Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning. A combination of up to about a foot of snow and winds gusting at 35 to 45 mph late Tuesday and early Wednesday will create low-visibility conditions around the area. The heaviest snow and strongest winds are expected between 8 p.m. Tuesday night and midnight.

Update, Monday morning

As of early Monday morning, the National Weather Service updated its forecast to say about 10 to 15 inches of snow was possible in parts of Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois.

Snow is expected to start early Tuesday night and end Wednesday, with north winds of 20 to 30 mph accompanying the snow, creating possible whiteout conditions.

Original story

Although a bit late, Southeast Missouri may have a white Christmas if forecasts for heavy snow late Tuesday and into Wednesday bring the amount expected.

A winter storm watch was issued Sunday afternoon for Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois by the National Weather Service. The watch takes effect Tuesday evening and extends into Wednesday morning.

More than six inches of snow could fall during that time, and will combine with winds of up to 30 miles per hour, which could cause blizzard conditions, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters are warning motorists to use extra caution.

For Cape Girardeau, the National Weather Service is forecasting an 80 percent chance of snow Wednesday, but there is a chance the low pressure system that will create the winter storm will shift track, meaning some areas could receive only rain. The National Weather Service's forecast high temperature for Tuesday in Cape Girardeau is 31 degrees, and temperatures are expected to fall into the teens early Wednesday.

Snow that could accumulate during the storm could mark the most significant amount received in the area this year. The winter of 2011-2012 was one of the warmest on record. Cape Girardeau last received about 1 inch of snow Feb. 13, according to the website Weather Underground.

Pertinent address:

Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Map of pertinent addresses

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