Will the Rolla get rain, snow, sleet, or ice in the next storm moving into the area? The National Weather Service says to expect all of the above.
Gene Hatch, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Springfield, said the dividing line for Winter Storm ‘Q’ seems to be Interstate 44, with the more significant snow risk to the north, and freezing rain and ice to the south of the highway, but there is still time for that to change.
“Right now the system is getting a little bit more clear,” said Hatch. “There are still some things we have to resolve with this system. The track of the system has sagged to the south. The farther south the cold air goes, the more chance there is for sleet and snow.”
Hatch said his current thoughts are that Rolla should expect between 1-3 inches of snow.
“Initially, as the system comes in, it will start as snow,” said Hatch. The snow will turn to sleet Thursday during the day, then will turn to freezing rain Thursday evening.
The freezing rain could coat the area with 1/10-2/10 of an inch of ice.
Currently, according to Hatch, the most accumulation is expected to hit the Columbia area, with 4-6 inches expected to fall. If the cold air continues to push farther sough, there is still the potential for significant accumulation in Rolla.
The National Weather Service has already issued a winter storm watch for the Rolla area starting late Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon. A winter storm watch is issued when there is a potential for significant snow, sleet, or ice accumulations that may impact travel.