COLUMBIA — Air temperatures aloft will determine the amount and type of precipitation that is predicted to hit Columbia during Thursday’s winter storm.
Interstate 70 slightly west of Columbia all the way to St. Louis is expected to receive snow, sleet and rain, National Weather Service forecaster Jayson Gosselin said on Tuesday morning.
The impact of the storm in the Columbia area will depend on the air temperature approximately 2,000 feet above the ground.
The National Weather Service predicted surface temperatures below freezing for Thursday. Coupled with air temperatures aloft that are above freezing, sleet and freezing rain could result, Gosselin said.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch effective from late Wednesday night through Thursday evening.
On Tuesday, Gosselin said he anticipated the storm could bring 1 to 3 inches of snow in the early morning and that the snow would give way to sleet. He predicted the area could receive one-tenth of an inch of ice by the afternoon.
Gosselin said the predicted amount of ice could create hazardous driving conditions, but power lines would not be affected unless the area received one-fourth of an inch of ice or more.
The storm made landfall on the west coast Tuesday morning.
“It’s been pretty consistent, but the slightest shift north or south could result in either more snow or rain for Columbia,” Gosselin said.
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