by Chief Meteorologist Ron Hearst, KY3 News
8:00 PM CST, February 19, 2013
Update: The National Weather Service has upgraded the Winter Storm Watch to a Winter Storm Warning for Wednesday night and Thursday. The winter storm warning for snow... sleet and freezing rain will be in effect from 6 pm this evening to 6 pm Thursday. You can track the latest watches and warnings here.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A big storm system is now entering the west coast around San Francisco.
The storm will drop south to Arizona before lifting northeast towards the Ozarks. Cold dry air is presently in place over the Ozarks and there is also a huge slug of tropical moisture in the south Pacific Ocean. As the storm dives south it will tap into this tropical moisture and sling it towards the Ozarks. This warm moist air will over-ride the cold air at the surface. The precipitation should begin sometime Wednesday after dark and last off and on through Thursday afternoon. It may start off as snow then mix with or change to freezing rain and sleet. Sleet is far more preferable than freezing rain because it doesn't stick to the power lines. There is also a possibility of thunder and lightning which would only add to our misery. Temperatures Thursday may barely eek out above freezing but won't be enough for much melting.
Once the ice begins to accumulate on the ground this will hold back temperatures for a couple of days. The weekend looks okay but cooler than earlier anticipated. A minor rain/snow event is possible Monday. Models continue to ramp up a decent storm for the middle of next week too.
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