COLUMBIA — Columbia could see its first snow of 2014 on the first day of the year.
Up to 5 inches was expected to start falling in the late afternoon and continue into the overnight hours, said Julie Phillipson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St.Louis.
Although the majority of snow will fall between late afternoon and evening, there is still a chance of light snow until 5 a.m. Thursday, she said. The Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory until 6 a.m. Thursday.
"We are looking at about 3 to 4 inches of snow for Columbia," Phillipson said.
At 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Columbia Public Works Department sent a partial crew to load salt and check equipment. A full crew would begin to treat and plow the roads at 7 p.m., according to a news release from the department.
Because more than 2 inches is likely to fall, the Public Works Department is asking residents to begin moving their vehicles off priority snow routes. According to a city ordinance noted on the city's website, cars still parking on priority snow routes after plowing begins are at risk of being towed.
The department also encourages residents to sign up for its priority snow route alerts to be notified to move their vehicles.
The combination of a cold front from north to south and a disturbance from the northwest is the reason for the snow, Phillipson said. The winter weather system will move toward Chicago and locations farther north.
"That's a very large system that will impact a large portion of Midwest," she said.
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