Residents should once again prepare for a mix of winter weather from today through Saturday.
On Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch for Pettis and surrounding counties from Thursday night through midnight Saturday.
According to the watch, a mixture of snow, sleet, and freezing rain will overspread the region from south to north as a strong storm system approaches the region. This will impact the Friday morning commute as snow transitions to sleet, freezing rain, and then to rain by the early afternoon.
The watch states total snow accumulations of 1 to 3 inches and ice accumulations of up to two-tenths of an inch are possible. Wind gusts of 35 mph are also predicted. The transition to rain is forecast for much later in the day.
Affected counties in the area include Pettis, Howard, Copper and Saline as well as most counties in mid-Missouri.
During any winter weather, not only should motorists take caution but the same is true for pedestrians.
It is estimated that 1 million people annually are injured in falls during the winter season.
“When it’s very icy and slick, don’t go out unless you have to. Live to travel another day,” Bothwell Regional Health Center orthopedic surgeon Dr. Douglas Kiburz said. “Give yourself plenty of time. Don’t be in a hurry. Take small shuffling steps. Dress in layers for change of weather.”
Those venturing outside should wear proper clothes in case they do fall, according to Kiburz. Rubber boots with good tread and hats and scarves that allow good vision are important items to have on hand.
It is also important to take a phone or emergency call button device with you, even if it is just to get the mail or let the dog out. Kiburz also recommends bringing a walking stick because it can be helpful for balance, getting up, signaling for help, checking the depth of snow and keeping stray dogs at bay.
“Watch where you are going — the text or email, selfie or snowfie can wait,” Kiburz said. “Also beware of the days after a snow — there may be one square inch of black ice remaining but Murphy’s Law says, ‘you will find it.’”
It is important to be aware of one’s surroundings and the conditions in the area. Look out for overhead ice and snow falling off of the roof or porch or trees. Beware of light snow covering ice — it may look innocuous but can be the cause of falls. Staying on sidewalks and known paths is also recommended.
“Be extra careful getting in or out of a vehicle — ice on our landing foot when you are twisting to get out and paying attention to the door and your coat and bags etc. is dangerous,” Kiburz cautioned. “When coming inside get the ice and snow off of your shoes as soon as possible. The fall may come inside.”