The potential for ice, snow, sleet, or rain is on the horizon according to many weather models

Winter weather may be on the horizon according to local weather models and the National Weather Service (NWS) in Springfield.

The Daily Guide received a briefing from NWS Monday afternoon warning of the potential for winter weather arriving Thursday night through Sunday.

"There is the potential for a significant storm system impacting the region including the potential for winter weather and heavy rainfall late this week through the weekend," NWS said in its brief to the Daily Guide.

"It remains too early to pinpoint precipitation types, timing, locations or amounts at this time," NWS said, but the potential for ice and snow accumulation is beginning to show on the weather models.

The Ohio Valley Forecasting Center (OVFC) is warning of a potential ice storm because models are predicting warm air to the south and very cold air to the north.

"Temperatures in the middle and upper 20s north of the front on northeast winds.  Just travel 100 miles down Interstate 75 into Kentucky and you warm dramatically into the 50s to near 60.  This is why this has trouble written all over it.

"The amount of moisture being lifted up and over the boundary and squeezed out in the cold air often leads to excessive precipitation.  Hence why the potential of a potent ice storm is legitimate.  Movement and intensity will change, but for the last several runs it is showing heavy icing across parts of the Ohio Valley," OVFC said of the potential storm system.

NWS said "there is potential for freezing rain, especially Friday through Saturday morning."

People who have lived in Missouri more than ten years remember the historic ice storm of January 12 - 14, 2007. If the potential winter weather that is being forecasted by many weather models does come to the Ozarks, it is likely to begin on the same dates as the historic storm of 2007.

The storm left more than 200,000 without power. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says "there's no time like the present to prepare for an ice storm" warning that home preparation should include making sure there are flashlights, battery powered radios, candles, extra blankets, emergency telephone numbers, first aid kits, drinking water, nonperishable foods, cash, and prescription medications on hand in case of an emergency.


FEMA's home preparation suggestions:

Make sure flashlights and battery-powered radios are working, and keep extra batteries, candles and matches on hand.

Unplug sensitive appliances such as the TV, VCR, computer and microwave. If the power goes off, turn off all major electrical appliances.

Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. If you lose power, frozen food will generally keep for 48 hours. Discard perishable food that has been at 40 degrees for more than two hours. Odor or appearance is not an indicator that food is safe. When in doubt, throw it out.

If you use an emergency-heating source such as a wood stove, kerosene heater or fireplace, keep fuels away from the flames and ventilate properly. Never leave a fire unattended.

If it seems likely that your home will be without heat for several days, drain your water pipes.

If you use a generator, read all the instructions that accompany it and be aware of the hazards that come with misuse. Use a qualified electrician to connect a generator to the house wiring. Never run a gasoline-powered generator in the house-the fumes are deadly.

Since there is no way to prevent nature's winter storms, being prepared in your best defense:

Create a family disaster plan and practice it regularly.

Learn and teach others in your family how to turn off electricity, gas and water.

Store extra blankets and warm clothes where you can find them easily. Layer winter clothing to trap body heat.

Keep emergency telephone numbers with you.

Have a first aid kit on hand.

Stock up on drinking water and canned or dried foods. Be sure to include a non-electric can opener with your supplies.

Have at least a week's supply of prescription medications on hand.

Fill your car with gasoline.

Have cash available.

Even when the winter storm is over, keep a disaster supply kit assembled and replace food, water and other time-sensitive items twice a year. Remember to replenish your kits when the clocks are reset in spring and fall.