Monday's wintry weather

Winter Weather Advisory in effect for most of the Local 6 area through late tonight

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Meteorologist Trent Okerson
Meteorologist John Champion

An upper-level storm system is forecast to move toward the Local 6 region on Monday, bringing a good chance of wintry precipitation and leading to the potential for hazardous travel conditions Monday night and Tuesday morning.

An upper-level storm system is forecast to move toward the Local 6 region on Monday, bringing a good chance of wintry precipitation and leading to the potential for hazardous travel conditions Monday night and  Tuesday morning.

While a band of snow has developed over the region this morning, a very dry air mass is preventing much of this from reaching the ground. It will take the atmosphere a while to become saturated, and that may not happen until much later in the afternoon.  This will likely lead to periods of virga, where precipitation will show up on radar, but evaporates before reaching the ground.  This evaporation process will help cool the atmosphere, allowing any snow that falls during the onset of the event to begin accumulating quickly.

The latest data shows precipitation beginning to reach the ground by mid afternoon in southeast MO, then spreading east across the rest of the Local 6 region after sunset. 

Current forecast model data suggests that 1-2 inches of snow could be quite common, just depending how much of this mixes with sleet... that's most likely to happen in NW Tennessee during the late afternoon.

Things get more complicated for areas along and south of the Ohio River for tonight, including most of western KY, northwest TN , and portions of southeast MO along and south of Hwy. 60.  In these areas, warmer air aloft will start to ride north. More mixing of precip types are expected as a mix of snow and sleet during the early evening hours gives way to a transition from snow and sleet, to rain, sleet, and perhaps some freezing rain.  This would reduce the snowfall accumulation from earlier in the evening, and possibly lead to some very minor icing concerns.

The system will be winding down by daybreak Tuesday, with just a small chance of light rain or drizzle continuing early tomorrow.  Any snowfall that does accumulate will not stick around very long, as highs are expected around 40 degrees Tuesday afternoon, and a chance of rain will return by Wednesday afternoon with 50 degree highs expected.

A Winter Weather Advisory is already in effect for much of SE Missouri and areas west of I-57 in Illinois for a light dusting through early afternoon.  In other parts of the Local 6 region, the advisories won't go into effect until the afternoon. The National Weather Service in Memphis has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the MO Bootheel & Lake Co., TN for Monday afternoon and night, for the potential of 1-3 inches of snow at the beginning of this system, which could affect evening commuters, as well as for minor accumulations of sleet and/or freezing rain.

This is a complex weather system, and temperatures will be crucial in determining what type of precipitation is seen across the region.   Snow totals and placement may have to be adjusted should colder or warmer air enter the forecast.  Stay tuned to The Weather Authority for the latest updates.

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