Snowfall amounts uncertain as winter storm approaches this weekend

Thursday, December 9, 2010 | 11:08 a.m. CST; updated 12:30 p.m. CST, Thursday, December 9, 2010

COLUMBIA — There's uncertainty about whether a winter storm will bring Columbia its first measurable snow of the season, but one thing's for sure: an Arctic blast is on its way.

A storm system over the Pacific Ocean on Thursday morning was expected to bring a major snowstorm to parts of the Ohio Valley this weekend. Exactly how the storm will play out in the Columbia area remains uncertain.

"We are a long ways from determining where this thing is going to go," Ben Miller, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said. 

Depending on where the storm tracks, there is a chance for snow in mid-Missouri. But it was too early Thursday morning for forecasters to talk about specific amounts. Miller said snowfall predictions will be more certain once the upper layers of the system can be sampled.

"If you have travel plans in the Midwest, just watch the weather and see how things evolve," Miller said.

High temperatures in the upper 40s were expected Friday. The latest forecast for Saturday called for rain before 4 p.m., followed by rain and snow with temperatures falling to near freezing.  The Arctic air arriving late Saturday will bring the coldest air of the season with highs on Sunday in the low 20s and single digits Sunday night.

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