Jon Carney, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, says while drivers were experiencing patchy ice on the roads throughout the morning, that isn’t expected to last much longer.
At around noon, temperatures at the Columbia Regional Airport ticked above freezing, and Carney says in Columbia, he expects temperatures will stay above freezing until the sun starts to set Friday night. He says drivers can expect wet roads for the afternoon commute. He says the sleet and freezing rain should turn in to rain before 1:00pm, and then turn to snow in central Missouri between 5:00pm and 7:00pm.
He says Columbia can expect about 1 inch of snow before midnight, with a total of 3-4 inches by the time the snow stops on Saturday.
To hear a complete 4-minute forecast from Carney from noon on Friday, including information about Kirksville and the area north of I-70, listen here:
Columbia Public Works road crews continue their efforts to keep area roads drivable as the winter weather continues. Public works spokesperson Steven Sapp says crews pretreated roads before the freezing rain that fell Friday morning. But he says the rain this afternoon washed much of that off, so now crews are re-applying salt to known slick spots in the area.
“It’s kind of an effort that we’re kind of getting punished for because of this rain. So you know right now a lot of things that we’re doing right now is just double triple checking equipment making sure we’re loaded and ready to go and crews are in good shape and so forth. So right now we’re doing what a lot of people are doing. Waiting to see what happens," Sapp said.
Sapp says if and when snow comes, crews will plow snow on first and second priority roads, and if there is more than 4 inches of snow, crews will work in neighborhoods as well. He says plows typically do not work in neighborhoods when there is less than 4 inches during overtime hours – such as the weekend.
“Typically we won’t on an overtime status and since we’re into the weekend then it will be a call that’s made by the director and the manager. So if we’re close to the threshold then we’ll kind of make a decision based on that. If we end up with just an inch or so, likely not," Sapp said.
You can also check the Missouri Department of Transportation's traveler information map for real-time updates on conditions on highways across the state.