By Wally Kennedy
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Joplin area commuters could face a rough go of it Thursday morning if an approaching winter storm brings freezing rain to the region.
“We are expecting the main storm to start overnight (Wednesday), with freezing rain expected around sunrise Thursday morning,” said Ryan Kardell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service forecast office in Springfield.
“We are talking all modes of winter precipitation with this storm at various times, with the bulk of the snowfall over the Kansas City area and tapering off as you come farther south.”
An ice accumulation of two-tenths of an inch is possible. An accumulation of sleet and snow could range from 2 to 4 inches.
Freezing rain is more likely to fall Thursday morning over parts of Northwest Arkansas.
But Kardell cautioned that predicting “frozen precipitation is one of the toughest things we do because there are so many variables, including temperatures at the surface and temperatures aloft. I would not be surprised if things continue to change as the storm draws closer to us.”
Kardell said the storm system has a good amount of moisture associated with it.
“It’s just a matter of determining the ratios of precipitation,” he said. “How much ice? And how much sleet and snow? That’s where the uncertainty is. Even a little bit of ice can cause a lot of problems.”
Winds associated with the storm could gust into the upper 20s. Temperatures are expected to hover around 30 degrees.
ROAD CONDITION INFORMATION is available from the Missouri Department of Transportation by dialing customer service at 888-275-6636. A MoDOT traveler information map may be viewed at http://maps.modot.mo.gov/timi/.