Posts Tagged ‘snow’

The NWS just issued a Winter Weather Advisory for this evening on this section of 270 for favorable chances of mist, freezing rain, and to an lesser extent inversion fog and snow.  While up to .10 of ice and/or 1 inch of sleet/snow mix is expected, the main issue is that it takes very little ice to potentially cause big problems, this weekend is Mardi Gras weekend, and this area is relatively hilly.   Threat forecasts are typically not run on the weekends but the medium threats for both Thursday and Friday were there in the case the systems that dumped massive amounts of snow just 200 miles to the north ended up busting projected forecasts.  There is a likelihood this one can very well bust as well – the storm tracking just 20 or 30 miles to the south or north can make a big impact to what happens here.  Naturally I would prefer to wait until 4 to 6 hours out to make a post but I have to be at work later this afternoon and I usually go to bed around 5 in the morning.


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Sunday evening when the risk forecast was written, there was very good confidence in that whatever was coming Tuesday was a threat.  However the weather models did a bit of a 180 on Monday, where at least an inch of snow probability went from 80% to 20% yet even .01 of ice remained roughly the same.

This morning the river fog threat got nullified by the winds that picked up and became strong enough – but less than 100 miles upstream patchy river fog was being reported along the Illinois River and confirmed by traffic cameras in Peoria.  I elected not to make the post before the AM peak and instead focused to watch the models when I woke up to see if the system moving this evening was moving in for the evening peak or holding off for later.

For this southern system it appears that the Gulf of Mexico is not being tapped.

This radar image from a tweet is telling me it has been tapped but not to the degree that causes the big Ohio Valley snow monsters. The SPC does have some Marginal Risk down in Mississippi and Louisiana but not the slight or enhanced risk that potent winter systems often brings.

As a result the forecast around here is up to an inch of snow and .10 of ice – but it will depend on how the system tracks as it goes through Arkansas. The NWS has issued a Winter Weather Advisory that starts at the tail end of the evening peak tonight and expected to last into the morning peak on Wednesday. The timing will be the big factor whether or not the evening peak is dicey or dry. The winter probabilistic were about 50% for an inch of snow and 10% for .01 of ice – a combination of the two is likely. (There is a sharp cutoff of 1% to 70% on .01 of ice between St. Louis and Mt. Vernon when it comes to the storm hitting the Metro East.)

The admins expect the very worst to happen just to the south. Either way it takes very little to cause big problems – and it was the case on Sunday when less than an inch of snow caused massive problems on 44 southwest of St. Louis. The bust potential with this system is still high so if there is one that does happen pray it goes in our favor.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for this section of 270 that goes in effect later tonight and throughout the entire Monday morning peak period.  While this Monday in question is an holiday and traffic is expected to be lighter than normal, it is still a work day for people in certain occupations.  The temperatures are also expected to bottom out later on Monday and the Tuesday morning peak will be greeted with an Wind Chill advisory, but this bitter cold is expected to be short lived.

In short, up to 2 inches of snow is expected to fall, and most of it is expected to be poor timing snowfall that is projected to be falling prior to the morning peak.

Note: we were hoping for more updated information as we wrote this.

This post has indications of the poor timing snowfall expected.

No risk threat for this week in question has yet to be determined but it is likely Monday and Tuesday will reflect as such.

nws-01112018Earlier in the week medium threat was put in place as models suggested questionable weather moving in late week – for both today and Friday.  While models have determined that this could very well be a two phase event, it is the first phase that the admins are worried about.

The NWS as of 03:51 this morning has issued an Winter Weather Advisory

Phase 1 is expected to hit possibly during the evening peak and this is likely going to bring a wintry mix and a sharp temperature drop.  While severe thunderstorms are not going to be ruled out, the most likely scenario will be rain turning to freezing rain or snow.  (NOTE:  Mother Nature often means business with the dead of winter severe weather and the anything goes nature of winter in this area means all scenarios are on the table for Phase 1.) This phase WILL NOT MISS THIS AREA, so plan accordingly for Thursday afternoon and make wise decisions out there.

Phase 2 is expected to be an all snow event and as of the latest update we are on the fringes of that threat.  This phase will likely be an overnight one and that can make the Friday morning peak quite dicey.  However, Winter Storm Watches are in effect not even 75 miles east of St Louis on 64 and if truckers got any plans towards Louisville or Memphis this system will mean business.

The admins do expect Phase 2 will largely determine on how Phase 1 does (i.e. if Phase 1 moves in slower than expected it can potentially pull Phase 2 further northwest and closer to St Louis.)

As a result the admins are declining to upgrade the risk threat for the Thursday morning peak and the Thursday evening peak and Friday morning peak will depend on what happens with the weather. (A decision for Thursday evening will be made prior to 2 PM and Friday morning sometime between 1 and 4 AM.)

Messy holiday weekend expected

Posted: 2017/12/22 in Weather
Tags: ,

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The NWS has not issued any Winter Weather Advisories but a southern storm with borderline temperatures are expected to make a trip through the region tonight into Saturday morning, and a second system is expected sometime on Sunday morning.

The expected snow is around the 1 inch range with slightly higher amounts just to the southwest. This is the range where the most incidents tend to occur. Crews have been pretreating the roads, given the relatively poor timing of the snowfall. (Thankfully it is hitting the area on a weekend, not a week day.)

While the NWS DOES NOT have Winter Weather Advisories in effect for this area (but they do have in effect in the counties along and north of I-72), snow is expected to come just before the Monday morning peak:

While the ground temperatures are above freezing, an recent cold snap and the fact nobody has seen the white stuff for two months may mean very slick roads. (There has been more severe weather outbreaks than inches of snow this season to put this in perspective.) With that in mind combined with a recent run of terrible form when it comes to the North County drive (with last week AM peak fatal MVA on WB 270 in consideration), the admins made the decision to put the AM peak at HIGH risk. (It is also a full moon out there as well so people may be driving much more crazier than normal.)

While not a lot of snow is expected (the worst is expected to remain to the north), the timing can cause big problems as it does not take a lot of snow to cause gridlock, given that 270 up in North County is hilly and the 1-3 inch range is where people often get complacent when it comes to snow.

Poor timing snow event for 1/5

Posted: 2017/01/04 in IDOT, MoDOT, Weather
Tags: , ,


The NWS has predicted up to 4 inches of the white stuff for Thursday – and projected the stuff to fall in time for the morning peak:

Earlier this evening, MoDOT goes out and their #2 man in the district declares in a press conference to the local media there will be no pretreating of the roads prior to the event.

Instead they have urged the people to stay off the roads and likewise the Illinois State Police has issued a travel advisory for the I-64 and I-70 corridors:

With the lights on the river bridge out and the poor timing of the event, the admins decided to upgrade the risk factor to HIGH. The hilly 270 mainline up in North County is likely going to be terrible, and in the last winter event that hill east of 157 proved its ugly head like no other. Since the admins have honestly lost count of how many incidents that happened on that hilly mainline in recent years (it seems like it happens every season), anyone that has to go out in this stuff due to essential reasons needs to allow extra time and be prepared to be stuck. Temperatures in this event is expected to be in the teens and low 20s, which can make rock salt rather ineffective.

Just for good measure, the past snow events at poor times have yielded big problems so please lets not make a repeat of this mess:

OR this mess the last time MoDOT didn’t pretreat the roads, or for good measure the epic twitter feed:

Whatever happens tomorrow please allow a lot of extra time or just stay home. The evening peak will likely be just as dicey depending on when the snow exits.


More winter weather is moving into the area and once again it is expected to roll in at a bad time of the day.  The Wednesday morning peak is expected to be snowy and strong wind gusts will be roaring through the area.  Heavy wet snow is expected along with wind gusts exceeding 40 MPH. The bad news is that the snow will fall during the worst time of the day – the morning peak. While a sizable amount of snow is possible, it is possible that no snow can fall on the northwest side of the 270/255 loop but several inches can fall 10-15 miles away. The bust potential is 50% but the odds of 6+ inches is over 40%.



The worst part of the storm is the wind, and anyone with high profile vehicles need to take extra precautions. The wind is bad enough on the river bridge, it is even worse on the canal bridge. With the snow, the inclines on the canal bridge and on that hill just west of Lilac will be major players during the morning peak. Extreme caution must be taken during this time.


No signs of pretreating was done prior to this event as it will begin as rain. In addition, a lot of the lights along the 270 mainline, especially between MM 1.2 to 1.8 and again at the 203/Old Alton Road interchange are not working tonight, so be wary of the reduced visibility.


The reason why we opted to wait to post this was easy. Models were all over the place and this was a very difficult storm to forecast by even the professionals.

Light snow possible Sunday

Posted: 2016/02/13 in Weather

The admins have been holding off on the post all day Saturday despite the issuing of the Winter Weather Advisory earlier this afternoon.  There are still more questions about the track and the type of winter precipitation that this system will bring.  This system will bring at least 2 inches of snow, and there is a problem with that:

The is talk of some ice, which we have a even bigger problem with – it takes little ice to cause major problems on a section of 270 that does not have a good history with any type of icing event.


And some of the questions is the media just to the north (Springfield/Peoria) running their mouth with 6 inches, and the media just to the south (Cape Girardeau/Paducah) talking major icing:



The bottom line:

  • At least 2 inches of snow (odds at 60% for <2 inches, 5% for >4 inches)
  • Some glazing (10% chance of ice > .01)
  • Potential of a bust is very high, and we do not expect the storm to behave as forecast.
  • The ground is very cold and anything that touches it will freeze instantly.
  • Weather models are very inconsistent with a “all or nothing” prediction of snow.

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More snow is expected tonight into Friday morning, and the timing of the snow can put it through the region at a poor time of the day -the morning peak.


The snow hit at the poor time Wednesday but this section of 270 did not see the problems that plagued Tuesday morning. However, it did not go incident free:


Unlike the I-70 drive, however, the incidents happened at the tail end of the evening peak.  The evening peak was much slower than normal, however.

However, if that one traffic reporter still did his “Good Hands” route of the day plug, this would be a good candidate:


In weather like last night, however, usually the hills of North County rear their ugly heads. After the horrible Tuesday morning peak, the people that usually use 270 were thinking twice.

There is more snow expected later this weekend but there will not be a discussion before Saturday about that.