Everything we know about tomorrow's big storm

Feb 20, 2013

Thursday morning's winter storm. Snow is worse to the west of Columbia, lighter to the south.
Credit National Weather Service

Updated at 8:00 p.m. with information about school closures and the gas explosion in Kansas City.

So there’s a huge storm coming into Missouri tonight/tomorrow morning and the Weather Channel says you can blame California (sort of).

A storm system from the West Coast is crashing right into the supply of extremely cold air that’s settled over the Midwest in the past few days. Combine that with moisture from the Gulf Coast, and we’re looking at 3-6 inches of snow in the Columbia area. You can see from the map above that the weather is much worse west of here. KOMU is expecting up to 10 inches of snow in the Kansas City area.

The storm really gets going early Thursday morning. There will be some light snow in the early parts of the day, but KOMU is predicting that the worst of it is between 7am and 9am. That’s drive time for most of us, so if you live or work in Boone County you can check the county website to see if your streets are on a salt or plow route.

Within Columbia, check this map of priority streets. These are the ones that will get plowed first.

A screenshot of the City of Columbia's Winter Weather Priority Map
Credit City of Columbia

As the snow falls we’ll have reporting teams in the field and online, bringing the latest on how mid-Missouri is coping with the storm.

Already, the storm has caused cancelations in travel and events.  A big, statewide educational conference was canceled because of the weather, according to the Columbia Tribune.  And we reported this morning that state lawmakers are already leaving the area, cutting their work week short.

UPDATE: Columbia public schools are closed all day Thursday, per the CPS website.

Right now, there’s worry about the storm’s impact on the search for the missing woman in last night’s gas explosion in Kansas City. The fire injured 14 people and decimated a popular restaurant. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that as of this morning, crews were still searching for one woman, believed to be an employee of the restaurant:

The storm due to reach Kansas City by Wednesday night could dump as much as 10 inches of snow on the city, adding even greater urgency to the effort to find a female employee who was last seen before the Tuesday evening blast and inferno that turned JJ’s restaurant into blackened ruins.

UPDATE:  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that crews have uncovered a body in the rubble of the destroyed restaurant.  It's not yet clear if the body is the same as the woman who has been missing since Tuesday.

Raw AP video of Tuesday's fire here: