A severe winter storm still has the metro-east directly in its crosshairs.
According to Melissa Byrd, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service of St. Louis, the region can expect anywhere from 4-8 inches of snow beginning Tuesday night. The metro-east currently is under a winter storm warning.
“We’ll start to see a mix of rain and snow initially around 9 p.m. Tuesday and then it’ll change over to all snow by midnight,” Byrd said Tuesday afternoon.
She said the snow will start tapering off by mid-morning Wednesday, but the area still could see light snow in the afternoon until it moves out altogether Wednesday evening, which is when the winter storm warning is set to expire at 6 p.m.
Byrd added the Wednesday morning commute will be treacherous.
“Either stay home if you can or if you are out and about, be very cautious while driving,” she said.
Byrd noted no ice is expected with this event. She also does not expect any widespread power outages but did not rule out the possibility of isolated ones.
“This will be a heavy, wet snow. Depending on the rate it falls, you could see some decent accumulation on trees and other objects with the weight of the snow that could cause some isolated power outages,” she said.
Byrd offered multiple safety tips.
“Be very cautious while you’re out driving. And if you are out and about, dress in layers,” she said.
Byrd also provided this suggestion when shoveling snow.
“If you’re shoveling, go slow. It will be a heavy, wet snow. Just be very cautious,” she said.
Marshall Phaler, also a meteorologist with the weather service, offered multiple safety tips as well, including traveling with a full tank of gas.
“We’re not anticipating any blizzard conditions, and temperatures are not expected to be bitterly cold,” Phaler said Monday. “But if you get stranded, we recommend you stay in your car, if you call for any sort of help or rescue if you get stuck.”
Otherwise, Phaler added, “The main thing is to just allow extra time for your Wednesday morning commute and take your time if you have to report to work at your normal time.”
The recent mild temperatures should help expedite the snow melting on roadways. However, despite highs of 43 on Monday and 45 on Tuesday, Phaler still expects the snow to stick on roads.
“Even the temperatures during the main portion of the winter storm will be right around freezing or a degree or two above, but since a lot of snow will be falling at night and coming down at a decent rate, it should be able to accumulate on roadways,” he said. “But once it ends Wednesday and right before the heaviest snow ends, temperatures will rise above freezing and that should help roads improve more quickly.”
To that end, metro-east cities are reminding residents on emergency snow routes to get their cars off the street so snowplows may effectively treat the roadways.