Columbia was treated with its first significant snowfall of 2021 on Friday as a winter weather system moved through Missouri and covered the northern parts of the state with heavy layers of frozen precipitation.

By Friday noon, about an inch and a half of snow had accumulated in Columbia, and similar amounts were falling in the central Missouri area. In some areas, up to 3 inches was possible, according to the National Weather Service.

“There is a very powerful low pressure system,” said Ben Herzog, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. “The storm is so strong that it actually managed to wrap the precipitation around it,” which brought snowfall to much of the state.

Kansas City and northwest Missouri experienced some sticky road conditions and up to two inches of snowfall Friday afternoon. Columbia saw similar amounts of snow but not as many road hazards.

FOX4 meteorologist Michelle Bogowith told the Kansas City Star on Friday, “It will be extremely difficult to take measurements with it because the wind is blowing so hard. Where we have this blizzard warning, higher sums are likely: 2 to.” 4 inches will be possible. “

There are several reasons Columbia got away with it relatively unscathed.

“The snow fell harder out there,” said Herzog. Heavier rainfall, which came with colder ground temperatures, made roads in northwest Missouri more prone to ice or snow sticking, he added.

Columbia’s recent milder weather had something to do with it too.

“The temperatures are relatively warm,” said Herzog. On Friday afternoon the temperatures were 32 degrees. “I suspect it melted a bit when the snowflakes fell.”

And with Columbia’s pavement temperatures of 35 degrees on Friday, snowflakes would melt when they hit the ground.

A 24-person public works plow crew was dispatched at 7 a.m. on Friday to replace the night shift and keep the roads clear. Herzog said this contributed to Columbia’s decent road conditions.

Herzog added that Columbia can expect intermittent storms over the weekend, but Columbia was mostly out of the woods.

“You’re right on the edge of the more prevalent snow,” he said. “I don’t think you will see much more.”

With wind gusts of up to 48 km / h on Friday, Herzog warned that even on good roads, the driver’s view could be impaired. He advised traveling with caution. Strong gusts of wind are particularly dangerous for large vehicles on highways.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F posted footage and photos of some isolated wrecks on Twitter, reminding drivers to drive slowly and keep their distance from other vehicles.

Temperatures are expected to warm when students return to the University of Missouri campus next week, with highs in the mid to upper 40s.

gvelasquez@columbiatribune.com

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