ST. LOUIS • Transportation officials are warning of potential “havoc” Sunday when freezing rain or rain is expected to hit ice-cold roads and make travel hazardous.
National Weather Service meteorologist Lewis Kanofsky said Saturday that a wintry mix would spread across the state from west to east starting Sunday morning.
The precipitation could start as snow, a mix of snow and sleet or a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain, he said, and then transition to freezing rain, then rain.
The weather service said there was a 90 percent chance of precipitation Sunday afternoon and evening.
Although temperatures in the teens will warm slightly by morning and could be above freezing by the time precipitation falls, Kanofsky said weeks of sub-freezing weather had frozen the ground to an unusual depth for the St. Louis area, meaning “it’s going to be very easy for the rain to freeze.”
Snow, freezing rain and sleet are expected before 3 p.m. in the St. Louis area. More freezing rain is possible through the afternoon. Minor accumulations of snow or sleet and up to a tenth of an inch of ice accumulation are expected, according to the weather service.
More freezing rain is expected before 1 a.m. Monday, followed by rain until about 5 a.m.
The good news, Kanofsky said, was that highs Monday and Tuesday are expected to be in the low 40s and could get into the 50s by Wednesday.
The Missouri Department of Transportation cautioned Friday that weekend weather “could cause havoc” for drivers and said more than 200 plow trucks would be ready at 7 a.m. Sunday, that road crews would be “fully staffed” and that those crews would work until the roads are clear.
The department encouraged drivers to stay off the roads during freezing rain, because even roads treated with salt would likely be icy.
Updated information on road conditions and driving tips will be available at the department’s website, modot.org.