Winter weather heads our way Thursday

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The Weather Authority is tracking an incoming storm system that is already bringing a mix of wintry weather to parts of the Local 6 area.

The highest impact from this storm system will occur over portions of Southeast MO & Southern IL that are included in the Winter Storm Warning, which runs until 9 PM this evening.  This includes areas along and northwest of a line from Poplar Bluff, Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, and McLeansboro. 

For the counties in Southeast MO included in this Winter Storm Warning, a mix of mainly sleet and freezing rain will continue to fall in a scattered fashion this morning, with heavier and more widespread precipitation coming this afternoon and early evening.  Ice accumulations up to 0.25" are possible in the warned area.  Already this morning, reports of light icing on untreated roads, trees, and power lines have been received of Butler County.

For the counties in Southern IL included in the Winter Storm Warning, slightly colder temperatures could stick around a little longer, leading to a little more of a snow and sleet mix.  An inch or so of snow and sleet could accumulate if temperatures stay colder.  If slightly warmer air is able to move north into this area, a changeover to freezing rain could reduce snow/sleet accumulations, and instead result in 0.1-0.2" of ice.

Farther south and east, within the Winter Weather Advisory areas in Southern IL, Western KY, and Southeast MO (including the MO Bootheel), a period of sleet and/or freezing rain could occur through the early parts of this morning, possibly leading to some slick travel.  This includes Harrisburg, Marion, Vienna, Paducah, LaCenter, Bardwell, Clinton, New Madrid, Sikeston, and Kennett.  However, for these areas, warmer air is expected to move in toward midday, leading to a changeover to just a cold rain.  Little to no snow is expected in this area.

Finally, for areas south and east of the advisory, while a brief period of sleet or light freezing rain can't be ruled out at the beginning of this event, temperatures should warm quickly enough for little more than trace amounts to accrue.

With the bulk of the precipitation not arriving until the afternoon, there will be some fine tuning of the forecast once it becomes clear how quickly thermometers will rise.  Stay tuned to WPSD Local 6 and The Weather Authority for more updates as the event unfolds.

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