12 to 18 inches of snow expected from potentially historic storm

Sunday, January 30, 2011 | 2:54 p.m. CST; updated 5:45 p.m. CST, Sunday, January 30, 2011

COLUMBIA — Two phases of what was being called a potentially historic storm are expected to rock the mid-Missouri area, severely hampering travel and causing possible power outages.

A winter storm watch was posted for 6 a.m. Monday morning until noon Wednesday.

A wintry mix was predicted to move into the area after midnight Sunday with 12 to 18 inches of snow possible in the Columbia area by the time the storm moves out Wednesday.

The first phase was expected to move in Sunday night with freezing rain expected to accumulate to about 0.1 inch of ice by Monday evening, causing extremely slippery conditions, said Julie Phillipson of the National Weather Service in St. Louis.

From there, the second phase will bring a massive amount of snow on Tuesday, she said.

Northwest winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph, large snow drifts and visibilities of one-quarter mile were also expected for Tuesday, she said.

The storm was expected to move out of the mid-Missouri area late Tuesday or early Wednesday, Phillipson said.

A number of factors will play a part in this dangerous winter storm, expected to affect 100 million people across the country, she said.

Phillipson said there was the possibility of widespread power outages and people should prepare by having enough water and food to last a few days.

According to the National Weather Service, those with travel plans should plan to adjust their trips to avoid the storm.

"People should definitely keep in mind that road conditions will quickly deteriorate," Phillipson said. "If you don't have to go out, don't."

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Derrick Fogle January 30, 2011 | 2:58 p.m.

OK, OK, I'll try to get my back yard sled run together! Sheesh...

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