ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A dangerous winter storm will affect the bi-state area today and tonight. Extreme cold is likely, along with strong wind gusts. Blizzard-like conditions are expected in rural and outlying areas late this morning through tonight.
Cold air surged across the St. Louis area Thursday morning, with a sharp temperature drop and increasing winds. This brought some sleet and very fine snow flurries early in the day.
Snow threats are nearing an end for much of the region as of early Thursday evening. Officials at St. Louis Lambert Airport measured around 1.4 inches of snowfall Thursday.
For several hours, there was moderate or heavy snow, churned up by very gusty winds, paving the way for blizzard-like conditions across the region. The “Snow Window” graphic shows approximate start and stop times of snowfall for several counties.
Winter storm timeline:
- Thursday – 6am to 10am: Sharp temperature drop begins. Gusty winds and some light snow.
- Thursday – 10am to 4pm: Snow becomes briefly heavy at times. Strong winds with blizzard-like conditions.
- Thursday – 4pm to 6pm: Snow ends, but winds remain gusty. Temperatures near zero with a wind chill at -25.
- Thursday – after 6pm: Windy, bitter cold, blowing snow. Temps below 0, wind chill -30.
The dramatic temperature drop has been amazing to watch. On Wednesday, the rate of drop was 40 degrees in less than an hour. Today, the pace has slowed, but we can still expect temperatures to drop from the 30s to near zero by late this afternoon or this evening. This, coupled with 30-45 mph wind gusts, will send wind chills into the 25-35 below zero range late today and into tonight.
The metropolitan St. Louis area should expect 2-4 inches of snow today. There may be 5-inch totals north and east of St. Louis. The blowing and drifting of the snow may make it difficult to measure.
The strong winds, extreme temperature drop, and bitter cold winds will team up to create conditions we rarely, if ever, see in this part of the country. Travel is not recommended once the snow begins, and it may be quite difficult later this afternoon and tonight. The dangerous conditions will be around after the snow has ended, because of the gusty winds, blowing snow, and bitter cold.
As for travel plans, Christmas Eve and Day, the weather will be dry, but temperatures will remain bitterly cold, especially on Christmas Eve, with some moderation expected for Christmas Day. That being said, road conditions are likely to improve considerably by Saturday.