December 10-11, 2007 Ice Storm

 For a  summary of preliminary ice accumulations click here

A slow moving storm system brought a long duration of freezing rain to a large portion of the nation's mid section. After several rounds of minor snow and ice accumulations over the past week, a major storm system produced one final blow, capping the region with significant ice accumulations. The event began early Monday evening and continued into the early evening hours on Tuesday. Very warm and moist air aloft was brought in ahead of a large storm system moving slowly out of the southwest United States. At the surface, Canadian high pressure which had been in firm control over much of the past week, helped keep temperatures near ground level in the upper 20s to lower 30s.
With surface temperatures at or below freezing, combined with a warm layer of air just above the surface, the precipiation fell in the form of freezing rain.

As precipitation rates increased quickly Monday evening, ice rapidly accumulated on many surfaces, especially trees and power lines. Locally, ice accumulation was particularly devistating along and north of the Missouri river extending into adjacent northeast Kansas. Ice accumulations of 3/4" were common, with isolated accumulations around 1" generally north of a line from Atchison, Kansas through Trenton, Missouri to Unionville, Missouri. Further south, temperatures warmed during the overnight, and by dawn hovered between 32 and 34 degrees. As a result, ice accumulations between 1/4" and 1/2" were noted along the Interstate 70 corridor, with lesser amounts further south.

Area electricity providers are reporting widespread power outages across portions of eastern Kansas and northwest Missouri this evening. The most hard hit areas extended from near Manhattan, Kansas through St Joseph, Missouri, and into southwest Iowa, where estimates are that nearly 75% of customers remain without power. Specifically, in communities along and north of US Highway 36, and west of Interstate 35, numerous fallen larger tree branches and downed power lines have been reported. As of 5PM Tuesday, December 11, providers are estimating that over 165,000 Missouri residents were without electricity.

Precipitation began to wind down Tuesday evening. However, additional power outages and damage were caused as north winds of 15 to 20 mph buffeted northern Missouri through the late evening. As temperatures fell quickly back through the 20s, wet roadways quickly refroze, resulting in widespread black ice. Several multiple vehicle accidents were reported during the evening hours Monday along major interstate routes as travelers suddenly found wet roadways had turned to a thin sheet of ice. Conditions had largely improved by Wednesday morning as roads were treated and dried out. Now eyes turn toward the potential for accumulating snows across central and southern Missouri Friday night and Saturday.


Courtesy of Glenn Briggs Courtesy of KMIZ Courtesy of KMIZ Courtesy of KMIZ
Photos above courtesy of Mike Hollingshead, taken around Mound City, MO. Click here for a detailed pictorial of the event.

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