Boone County faces fire risk Thursday; snow expected to begin Friday

Thursday, January 30, 2014 | 12:36 p.m. CST; updated 4:53 p.m. CST, Thursday, January 30, 2014

COLUMBIA — A high fire danger was forecast for Thursday afternoon, with accumulating snow expected Friday night and a winter storm on the horizon for Tuesday.

Strong winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels could create hazardous conditions for outdoor burning from noon to 5 p.m. in Boone County and roughly the southern half of Missouri.

Winter precipitation, including freezing rain, sleet and minor ice, was predicted to accumulate on Friday evening into Saturday morning across central and east central Missouri. The National Weather Service  called for 2.2 inches of snow in Columbia, with up to 5 inches possible in northeast Missouri. 

Because minor changes in temperature can affect the type of precipitation, "there is greater than normal uncertainty with this event," according to a special weather statement issued by the National Weather Service. Central and eastern Missouri residents are encouraged to closely monitor forecasts.

Accumulating snow was also expected Tuesday into the night. The National Weather Service predicted a 50 percent chance of snow Tuesday, decreasing to 40 percent in the evening. 

"We don't have a good handle on that yet," said Butch Dye, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in St. Louis, of the storm system. 

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