Winter weather advisory issued for Columbia

Friday, February 27, 2009 | 5:01 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A winter weather advisory has been posted for Columbia for 1 inch to 3 inches of snow.

The National Weather Service issued the advisory for 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The advisory covers a swath of Missouri, from the northwest to the southeast.

Mark Britt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said there is an 80 percent chance for accumulation Saturday afternoon and a 50 percent chance through midnight Saturday.

“It just looks like what we’re going to see is a rather light snow accumulation,” Britt said.

The Columbia Public Works Department was preparing for snow on Friday afternoon and planned to send out a crew at 4:30 a.m. Saturday to start treating the streets with a salt and cinder mix. Jill Stedem, a public information specialist, said this is “our standard procedure that we always do.”

Stedem said she doesn't expect the snowfall Saturday to cause problems. “We’re just going to play it by ear and see what happens at this point,” she said.

So far, Columbia has only had 3.6 inches of snowfall this year. Last year, there had been 14.4 inches of snowfall by this time.

The average snowfall for this year is about 20 inches, which has been the average for around 30 years, Britt said.

“We’ve just not been seeing the normal amount of storms moving across the area,” he said. “Even in recent history, there have been years where Columbia hasn’t had a lot of snow.”

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