COLUMBIA — Missouri fans traveling for the SEC Championship this weekend might encounter sleet and snow on their way both to and from Atlanta.
A winter weather system will hit southern Missouri and southern Illinois on Thursday, according to a statement from the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office in St. Louis.
"For people traveling south and east from Columbia from Thursday to Friday night, they are probably going to drive into some wintery weather, which will include freezing rain, sleet as well as snow," said Scott Truett, senior forecaster at the National Weather Service office.
Truett said some of the wintery weather will spread to western Tennessee and western Kentucky, so people traveling to Atlanta might encounter inconvenient road conditions.
The first wave of Missouri's snowy weather is expected to lighten by Friday night, he said.
Truett said another wave late Saturday will also spread into areas along the route from Columbia to Atlanta, such as Missouri, western Tennessee and western Kentucky. Fans returning to Columbia after the game could run into that bad weather through Sunday.
Roads will become slippery in the areas affected by a winter mix such as freezing rain and snow, Truett said. When weather worsens, drivers should be cautious and probably pull off the road until road conditions improve, he said.
"Don't jeopardize your safety trying to get to the game," he said.
Flights between Columbia and Atlanta might also be affected by the weather, Truett said.
Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.