So far, this storm has been anything but impressive in Mid-Missouri. This is where I wish I had a meteorology degree, so I could figure out just what is happening. My best guess is that one of two scenarios are occurring: Either the track of the low has taken a more southerly turn, or drier air has advected into our region. Whatever the cause, the effect is the same.
It has been cold and cloudy all day. Some light frz rain/sleet began to fall at 4:30 p.m. and lasted for about 45 minutes, leaving another dusting on the ground. Nothing has happened since...here at least. Looking further south paints a much different picture.
Much of my family is in the Rolla/Steelville area, and they are getting battered with moderate to heavy sleet at this time. My sister in Steelville reported to me that she has an estimated 1/2" of sleet on the ground currently. With the forecast of a couple more hours of sleet and ice, followed by some heavy snow, it's possible that they might end up with quite a mess tomorrow morning. Schools there have already been cancelled. (I'm still holding out hope for me, I need some time to grade some tests)
I am beginning to notice what may end up being a characteristic to remember about this storm. The general NE flow of the precip is setting up the stage for some very steep snowfall amount gradients.
From the St. Louis NWS discussion: THE MOST UNCERTAINTY DEALS WITH HOW FAR NORTH TO TAKE THE MODERATE TO HEAVY ACCUMULATIONS OF SLEET AND SNOW. THIS COULD VERY WELL BE THE SITUATION WHERE THE NORTHERN PART OF THE ST. LOUIS METRO AREA ONLY RECEIVES A COUPLE INCHES OF SNOW...BUT JEFFERSON AND MONROE COUNTIES RECEIVE 6+ INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET. THIS DEMARCATION LINE COULD END UP BEING A COUPLE OF COUNTIES NORTH OR SOUTH OF CURRENT FORECAST.
This reminds me of a wild snow event that occured in Southwest to East Missouri in March of 2008, where the difference of 20 miles meant the difference of 10" of snow in places. Check out the storm summary:
In East Missouri:
In Southwest Missouri:
Follwing the strip from bottom left to top right (Cassville to Jefferson City) was an area of 4"-8" of snow, while the adjacent areas had <1".
Tonight, some areas in SE Missouri are under the gun to receive up to and exceeding 1" of ice. I certainly hope that doesn't pan out for them, as I know how crippling that could be for many.