Around 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17, the second round of fine snow began to build up on South Limit Avenue at 32nd Street. Information provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol stated troopers responded to 525 calls from stranded motorists and nearly 560 other traffic crashes across Missouri since the beginning of the two-day storm on Sunday.

With 68 days before the arrival of spring on March 19, winter is not planning to relinquish its hold on Pettis County quite yet.

Despite temperatures in the upper 50s on Thursday, a mixture of rain, freezing rain, snow and ice is expected Friday through Saturday, according to Sedalia/Pettis County Emergency Management Agency Director Trisha Rooda.

“We are anticipating a strong storm system to move into the region this weekend,” Rooda said  Thursday morning. “Heavy rain transitioning to freezing rain (icing) and eventually snow is expected from Friday afternoon through Saturday night.”

Pettis County may receive 2 to 3 inches of rain Friday followed by around two-tenths of an inch of ice before turning to snow during the day and evening on Saturday. Total snow accumulation is predicted between 3 to 5 inches.

The National Weather Service in Kansas City/Pleasant Hill has issued a Winter Storm Watch for Pettis County until noon Sunday. The report states dangerous travel conditions are likely Friday night through Saturday and that heavy mixed precipitation is possible. The advisory includes Pettis, Bates, Chariton, Henry, Macon, Randolph, Johnson, Cooper, Howard and Saline counties.

This is in addition to a Flash Flood Watch from 6 a.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday that includes Pettis, Bates, Henry, Cooper and Howard counties.

Moderate to heavy rain will be possible through the day on Friday and could last into Saturday morning. One to 3 inches of rain will be possible over a 24-hour period between Friday morning through Friday night, according to the NWS.

According to information from the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office, “local creeks and streams could rise very quickly and area roads could become covered with running water. A Flash Flood Watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.”

Residents are advised to monitor forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued. 

AccuWeather is also urging caution across most of the Central to Northeastern regions of the United States.

“A storm will serve as a reality check for millions of Americans this weekend, following a stretch of springlike warmth expected to challenge records,” an AccuWeather article states. “Wintry precipitation is forecast to overspread a 1,700-mile corridor of the United States.

“The same storm system that will bring the threat for severe thunderstorms and flooding rain across the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys will also pose a threat for accumulating snow and ice beginning this weekend,” the statement continues. “A heavy rain threat will first expand across the mid-Mississippi Valley on Friday, then the threat for accumulating snow and ice will soon thereafter threaten portions of the Plains and Midwest while colder air seeps southeastward.”

The City of Sedalia will automatically enforce emergency snow routes when 2 or more inches of snow, sleet or freezing rain have accumulated in a 24-hour period, according to the City’s website. 

A parking prohibition shall remain in effect until terminated by city announcement or the street has become substantially clear of snow and ice from curb to curb for the length of the entire block. Vehicles parked in violation of a parking prohibition will be ticketed and or towed.

For more information about snow routes, contact the Public Works Department at 660-827-3000.

Education Reporter

Hope Lecchi is the education reporter for the Democrat, covering all things education in Sedalia and Pettis County, as well as providing general assignment and feature coverage. She can be reached at 660-530-0144.

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