COLUMBIA — Punxsutawney Phil has done it again. The groundhog that predicted six more weeks of winter has forecasters predicting at least a weekend's worth of it in Columbia.
Central and eastern Missouri as well as southwest Illinois will be hit hardest by colder temperatures. Columbia residents spending time away from the warmth of a fireplace Friday night can expect single digits around 10 p.m.
The upcoming week will have coldest weather seen so far this year, said Mark Britt, National Weather Service meteorologist in St. Louis. Temperatures for Saturday will drop to the lower to mid-20s. Monday temperatures are expected to be close to freezing as well.
There is a chance for light snow — up to a one-inch accumulation — throughout the day and into the evening Monday.
According to climatology records from the National Weather Service website, the average temperature for January 2011 was 27.7 degrees while this January was, on average, a full 10 degrees warmer. Last February's average temperature was 36.6 degrees.
Another important distinction from last January to this January was a 12.9 inch difference in snowfall.