ST. LOUIS — The National Weather Service of St. Louis says we should expect heavy snowfall, strong winds, and dangerously low temperatures Thursday afternoon. For some parts of the Midwest, the arctic blast is expected to deliver the coldest Christmas to the region since the late 1980s.

Fox2’s Glenn Zimmerman said that he is confident that “the snow is moving in today and it’s going to stick around.” Zimmerman also said that this will be the first white Christmas since 2017.

A winter storm warning remains in effect for the St. Louis regional area until midnight tonight, and the wind chill warning remains in effect from 6 p.m. this evening to noon Friday.

For the winter storm warning, expect heavy snow. More snowfall of 1 to 3 inches is likely, and winds could gust up to 45 miles per hour. Dangerously low wind chills are expected. If you don’t take care, you could get frostbite in less than 5 minutes, and if you stay out in the cold for too long, you could get hypothermia. 

Because of falling and blowing snow, it might be hard to see more than a quarter mile ahead. Prepare for slick road conditions. Blowing snow on a large scale may impair vision significantly. 

The hazardous circumstances may have an impact on the morning and evening commutes on Thursday. Strong winds may cause tree branches to fall.

Travel will be very difficult, if not impossible, because snow is falling so quickly. If you must travel, go with extreme caution. In case of an emergency, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle.

If feasible, people should postpone any travel. If you have to drive, be very careful and know that visibility can change quickly. 

Allow plenty of space between you and the driver in front of you, and allow additional time to arrive at your destination. Avoid abrupt braking or acceleration, and exercise extra caution on hills or when turning. Check that your vehicle is winterized and in good working order.

If possible, avoid outdoor activities. Wear suitable attire, a hat, and gloves when going outside.

In Illinois, the latest road conditions can be obtained at www.gettingaroundillinois.com. In Missouri, you can find out how the roads are doing by going to traveler.modot.org/map or calling 1-888-275-6636.