The recent warm weather the area has been experiencing quickly came to an end on Wednesday. A strong arctic cold front swept through the region, bringing a wintry mixture of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow to many portions of eastern Kansas and western Missouri. As the cold air surged southward during the day on Wednesday, rain which had been falling through a warm layer in the atmosphere, quickly changed to freezing rain and sleet as it reached the cold air near the surface.
While this rainfall quickly changed over to a wintry mix in areas north and west of a line from Butler to Marshall and Kirkville, areas to the south of this line received copious amounts of rainfall. Rainfall reports from cooperative observers in these areas reported just over 3 inches of rain in Boonville, while rainfall amounts in both Macon and Sedalia approached 2 inches. This rain not only caused streams and rivers to rise to near flood stage, but hazardous road conditions resulted overnight once cold air finally reached the area. Most areas received light ice amounts near 1/8"; however some areas in Pettis and Cooper counties received 1/4"-3/8" of ice accumulations.
Farther to the northwest rain quickly changed into freezing rain and sleet by the afternoon. After receiving an additional quarter to half inch of rainfall in the morning, areas from Paola to the Kansas City Metro, Chillicothe, and Unionville received the heaviest of the freezing precipitation. After many areas picked up a quick 1/4"-1/2" of ice accumulations, many areas also received up to a half an inch of sleet accumulations. Fortunately, freezing rain and sleet quickly ended by 10 pm, limiting the extent of the hazardous road conditions while allowing road crews to quickly dispatch troubled areas of roadways.
Even farther northwest across areas from St. Joseph, to Tarkio, and Maryville only a light coating of freezing rain was received, with many areas experiencing just a trace of sleet. For further information on the first half of our potent winter storm system, feel free to browse the latest winter weatherand observational products, including our current storm summary page.