County placed under ice storm warning

Saturday, December 8, 2007 | 7:09 p.m. CST; updated 7:44 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008
Freezing rain fell intermittently on Columbia on Saturday.

COLUMBIA — The National Weather Service in St. Louis placed Boone County under an ice storm warning on Saturday afternoon through Sunday evening.

Much of the northwestern half of Missouri is under the advisory, which is in effect from 6 p.m. Saturday until 6 p.m. Sunday.

Doug Tilly, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said that a quarter of an inch of ice accumulation is expected. An ice storm means an expected accumulation of a quarter of an inch or more of ice.

With near or below freezing surface temperatures, an unsettled weather pattern and significant amounts of precipitation, wintry conditions are expected to continue throughout the weekend and into the first half of next week. The Weather Service is forecasting greater amounts of precipitation late Monday night into Tuesday.

The Public Works Department said the city had already sent out salt trucks by Saturday afternoon.

Precipitation types in the next few days will depend on temperatures at the surface and aloft.

Tilly said that temperatures are expected to hover around the freezing point during much of the day Sunday.

Although a quarter of an inch of ice might seem insignificant, Tilly said that it’s much more dangerous than one might think.

“Besides making roads extremely dangerous while driving, the ice is also a big burden on trees and power lines,” Tilly said.

The weight of the ice can cause tree limbs to break off, bringing telephone power lines down with them. It’s also a concern that high winds will whip around tree branches.

“Power lines, trees and roadways are the biggest concerns in situations like this,” Tilly said.

Missourian reporters Rebekah Sasse, Stephanie Callahan, Jaclyn Deweese and Lauren Rosenberg contributed to this report.

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