Winter storm

Photo provided/AccuWeather

Winter Storm To Bring Snow, Ice, Wind, and Bitter Cold Saturday

Luckily, St. Louis likely won't have it as bad as northeast U.S. cities

January 18, 2019 - 7:18 am
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Snowfall totals have changed a bit with this weekend's winter storm, but what hasn't changed is the danger that will be caused by ice, wind, and extremely cold temperatures.

AccuWeather meteorologist Dean DeVore tells us to expect 1-3 inches in and around the city of St. Louis, with higher totals from North County all the way up to the Iowa border. 

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from midnight tonight until 6 p.m. tomorrow. Rain will be occasionally heavy tonight and may be mixed with sleet by Saturday morning. That will transition to snow by mid-day Saturday, but diminish to flurries in the afternoon and leave altogether by the evening. 

However, wind gusts of up to 45 mph will blow that snow around, and temperatures falling into the 20s in the afternoon and the teens overnight will create slick conditions on local roadway.

Sunday will remain cold with a high of just 23, but by Tuesday, we'll see highs in the mid-40s.

Heading out of town this weekend? Travel might be dicey if you're going northeast. Here's the complete AccuWeather forecast of the winter storm, complete with some epic snowfall predictions.

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by Alex Sosnowski, Accuweather senior meteorologist

As a storm with snow and ice strengthens, gusty winds and plummeting temperatures will lead to blizzard conditions in some areas of the Midwest this weekend.

Motorists will be at risk for getting stuck on the highways, and airline passengers may spend hours at airports due to mounting airline delays and flight cancellations. Unnecessary travel should be avoided during the storm, due to the risk of being stranded in your vehicle in plummeting temperatures.

The severity of the storm, wind and cold air that follow may force schools to close that are not already closed on Monday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Difficult to dangerous travel conditions will unfold from parts of the Plains to portions of the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley as the major storm moves from west to east across the region from Friday to Saturday night.

In some cases, roads and airports may close in the Midwest, even though the heaviest snow, on the order of 1-3 feet will target the interior northeastern United States with blizzard conditions. For parts of the Midwest, the heaviest snow is likely to fall across central Illinois to northern Indiana and northern Ohio.

Photo provided/AccuWeather

Timing the storm

Snow will spread from South Dakota and Nebraska to Iowa, northern and central Kansas and northern Missouri on Friday.

During Friday night, snow will then spread eastward across central and northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin to central and northern Indiana.

During Saturday, snow will continue to press eastward across southern Michigan and northern and central Ohio to the central Appalachians.

The storm could impact the sister marches across the region during Women's March 2019.

Photo provided/AccuWeather

Snow amounts expected from the storm

A moderate to heavy snowfall is forecast, ranging from a few inches to as much as a foot or so from parts of the central and northern Plains to the swath between Interstate 70 and 80 over the Midwest.

Portions of northeastern Ohio, including the Cleveland metro area, may receive 1-2 feet of snow from the storm.

In cities such as Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, a large gradation in snowfall from north to south is likely.

In Chicago and Detroit, the heaviest snowfall will likely land on the southern tier of the metro areas. In St. Louis, Indianapolis and Columbus, the heaviest accumulation of snow will be on the northern side of the metro areas.

A shift in storm track by as little as 50 miles can cause the swath of heaviest snow to correspondingly shift farther north or south.

Strong wind and ice to add to hazards, cause power outages

Strong winds during the height of the storm from late Saturday to Sunday will cause extensive blowing and drifting snow, blizzard conditions and broken tree limbs.

Near and just south of the heavy snow area, a substantial amount of sleet and freezing rain is forecast.

There is the potential for enough of a buildup of ice on trees to lead to regional power outages in parts of southern Indiana, northern Kentucky, southern Ohio and West Virginia.

The increasing winds during the latter part of the storm may cause an exponential increase in the number of power outages during Saturday night and Sunday. People should make preparations now for an extended period without power as Arctic air blasts into the region.

Photo provided/AccuWeather

Dangerous freeze-up looms in wake of storm

The rapid temperature drop during and in the wake of the storm will cause wet and slushy areas to freeze.

How quickly the cold air catches up with the back side of the storm will determine how much, if any, snow falls on areas that had an ice buildup or plain rain in parts of Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee during Saturday night. Even an inch or two of slushy snow, followed by a rapid freeze-up Saturday night can lead to dangerous conditions by Sunday morning.

Prompt snow removal is recommended to prevent a thick layer of ice from forming, which would be difficult to remove with temperatures in the teens, single digits and below zero degrees Fahrenheit in some cases.

AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will dip to dangerous levels during and after the storm.