The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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December 12, 2013

Freezing rain possible for morning commute

Motorists heading to work or school this morning should give themselves some extra time because the roads could be slick.

The Joplin area could see a mixture of rain, sleet, snow and freezing rain this morning and on Saturday as the latest in a series of wintry storms moves across the region.

Andy Boxell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service forecast office at Springfield, on Thursday said the Joplin area will begin experiencing the wintry mix this morning.

“You can expect some freezing rain and sleet in the morning commute,” he said. “This could be a real thin glaze on the roads. Temperatures will rise above freezing by noon. With temperatures in the mid-30s, the freezing rain should change over to a cold rain.”

But conditions will change again tonight when the temperature falls below the freezing mark.

“It will change back to a wintry mix, including freezing drizzle if the temperature gets cold enough,” Boxell said. “That will continue into Saturday.”

Cold morning weather will return on Saturday and Sunday. Some areas will see wind chill values near 10 degrees.

Though winter does not begin until Dec. 21, the region has already experienced “an impressive stretch of cold,” Boxell said.

“As of Wednesday, the area had seven consecutive days of temperatures of 32 degrees or less,” he said. “The last time we had a stretch that long was for the first 10 days in January of 2010, but that was in January when you would expect that.

“It really has been a quick start to winter this year. We’re in an active weather pattern with a persistent flow of cold air into the central part of the United States.”

That persistent flow of cold air helps pave the way for more cold air to follow. When a cold front moves into the central part of the country, its coldness tends to diminish as it moves farther south because ground conditions are warmer. When the ground is covered with snow early in the season, a front will maintain its cold as it moves south.

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