COLUMBIA– After a spell of spring-like weather, a major winter storm was forecast to bring snow this weekend.
Rain, sleet and snow are forecast for the Columbia area for Saturday, turning to all snow after 1 p.m.
Snow and sleet are likely before 9 a.m. Sunday. There is a chance of snow, sleet and rain later in the day. The high is 39 degrees.
The National Weather Service says there is no winter weather advisory for the Columbia area this weekend.
Snow in Columbia is expected to accumulate to 1.6 inches on Saturday and Sunday. Accumulation is expected to be on grassy surfaces rather than roads, but it depends on the intensity of snowfall. Currently, the ground temperature is warm, so there should be less accumulation.
“The ground soil temperatures are, on average, 50 degrees at two inches," said Benjamin Sipprell, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in St. Louis. "At four inches, it’s about 48 in Columbia right now. It’s pretty warm ground out there. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.”
A winter storm warning was posted for late Friday through Sunday for parts of southwest and west-central Missouri, including Sedalia, where an accumulation of 5 to 8 inches of snow is possible by Sunday.
“March is a very transitional month. It can be winter one day and spring the next. This doesn’t really surprise us,” said Jim Kramper, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis.
Columbia has had 22.7 inches of snowfall this winter, which is 3.2 inches below average, Kramper said. So far, there has been no snow accumulation in March, when the typical amount is 2.4 inches.
The storm is expected toclear out by the beginning of the work week. Monday's forecast calls for sunny skies and a high around 50 degrees. For more information, go to the service’s Web site.