Some Columbia residents bracing for weekend temperatures expected to dip into the teens may find solace in the fact that current forecasts show the possibility of a white Christmas.
According to the National Weather Service, a storm is developing on the West Coast that is moving east, probably reaching Missouri by Thursday night.
But according to Vince Acquaviva, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, it remains to be seen whether the storm will result in snow or rain.
The storm looks like it might intensify in the southwestern United States and move into Missouri, Acquaviva said, with possible snow late Thursday night into the next morning.
On Thursday, Acquaviva said the weather service’s tracking system was suggesting snow. However, that forecast could change to rain in the next few days, he said.
Either way, forecasts indicate that it’s starting to get colder.
Mike Holman, assistant manager of the Missouri Valley Division of AmerenUE, said his company already has begun to see the impact of falling temperatures.
“Last week we saw an increase in (natural gas) usage, and we had some people calling to have their service connected,” Holman said. “It’s an indication that they’re starting to get a little cold.”
Holman said heating bills will be higher than last year because of the high price of natural gas.
“What we’re saying is gauged by what the (natural gas) market looks like,” Holman said. “It’s at a very high level, which indicates an expectation of a fairly cold winter.”