Missouri's notorious weather is behaving true to its reputation this week with warm temperatures early in the week, ice in the forecast over night and spring-like temperatures for the coming weekend.
The local area is expected to see somewhere between two to three inches of rainfall between Tuesday and Thursday causing the National Weather Service (NWS) in Springfield to issue a flood watch for the counties to the west of Pulaski, including Laclede County.
Pulaski and Phelps aren't included in that watch yet, as of Tuesday evening, but a second round of rainfall is expected to develop Friday and into the weekend which could dump an additional two to three inches of rain in a band that runs across much of Laclede, Pulaski, and Phelps Counties.
The forecast for Tuesday evening includes rain for much of the night and a chance of freezing rain in the early morning hours. The area, according to NWS, is in the elevated risk zone for ice accumulation. The Situation Report from NWS is predicting around 0.15" of ice. The confidence on the amount of ice is low, however, according to NWS, because fluctuating temperatures will have a bearing on whether precipitation is rain or ice.
Freezing rain is also a possibility for Wednesday night as temperatures drop. NWS says the area is also at elevated risk for freezing rain on Wednesday night.
The forecast for Wednesday from NWS said, "A chance of freezing rain after 9pm. Cloudy, with a low around 31. Wind chill values as low as 24. Northeast wind 6 to 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%."
The good news is that Missourians know that warmer temperatures are just around the corner, especially in the early spring. Day time temperatures for the weekend range in the upper 50's to lower 60's.
In the meantime, MoDOT is warning drivers to take it slow and to check their travel map for road information.
“Many times when we see crashes associated with winter weather, it’s because folks were driving too fast for the conditions at hand,” said MoDOT Central District Maintenance Engineer Jason Shafer. “We can’t stress enough how important it is to slow down and allow extra time if you have to travel. Ice is especially tricky and can cause hazardous conditions, so please use extra caution if you go out tonight.”
MoDOT's traveler information map can be found at www.modot.org if you must travel.
"MoDOT also offers a toll-free customer service line that is answered 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. A customer service representative can be reached by calling 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636)," MoDOT said.