Figure 1: A wintry mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow transitions to all snow as the precipitation shield expands from southwest Missouri across the forecast area. Two mesoscale bands develop across eastern Missouri and southwest Illinois.
Figure 2: Snow bands develop across northwest Missouri ahead of the second upper level disturbance and move southeast across the forecast area during the afternoon and evening hours of Christmas Eve.
Figure 3: An area of light snow accompanies the upper level disturbance as it spins south along the Mississippi River during the predawn hours of Christmas
Figure 4: Storm Total Snowfall

NWS
St. Louis, Missouri

A White Christmas
December 24th-25th, 2010

A combination of two upper level storm systems brought a white Christmas to the eastern half of Missouri and much of Illinois. Strong winds in the lower atmosphere ahead of the southernmost system allowed low level moisture to be transported north into the lower Missouri and middle Mississippi River Valleys during the predawn hours of December 24th.  The precipitation started as a wintry mixture of freezing rain, sleet and snow, but quickly transitioned to all snow as the shield of precipitation moved into central and southeast Missouri (Radar Loop 1). The snow traversed eastern Missouri and Illinois Friday morning, with most locations receiving an inch or two of snow. Two mesoscale snow bands, within the larger snow shield, brought a period of heavier snow from Columbia to Troy in Missouri, and from near Cuba, Missouri to Sparta, Illinois.  It was in these two bands that up to 4 inches of snowfall were observed Friday morning.  

The second upper level system then approached the area from the northwest during the afternoon and evening of Friday December 24th spreading several bands of snow across the area (Radar Loop 2) with additional snowfall accumulations on the order of an inch or two.  Finally, the second upper level system tracked south along the Mississippi River during the predawn hours of Christmas (Radar Loop 3) bringing an additional half inch to inch of snowfall to eastern Missouri and Illinois.  By Christmas morning 3 to 6 inches of snow blanketed the area, providing the first official white Christmas in five years for St. Louis, Missouri and eight years for Columbia, Missouri. 

Radar Loop
Radar Loop
Radar Loop
Storm Total

Radar Loop 1

Radar Loop 2

Radar Loop 3

Storm Total Snowfall

...PRELIMIINARY SNOWFALL REPORTS...
IN NORTHEAST MISSOURI...
BOWLING GREEN 1 E...................5.0
CANTON LD 20........................4.0
EDINA...............................4.2
HANNIBAL............................4.0
LOUISIANA...........................4.0
MONROE CITY.........................4.5
NOVELTY.............................4.0
SAVERTON LD 22......................5.0
VANDALIA............................6.0

IN CENTRAL MISSOURI...
COLUMBIA REGIONAL AIRPORT...........6.0
FREEDOM.............................2.5
JEFFERSON CITY......................4.0
WILLIAMSBURG........................5.5

EAST CENTRAL MISSOURI...
ALTON LD 26.........................4.0
DARDENNE PRAIRIE 1 NW...............3.0
DE SOTO.............................5.5
ELLISVILLE..........................3.1
GLENDALE............................3.9
HARVESTER...........................2.9
IMPERIAL............................3.2
LAMBERT FIELD.......................3.3
NEW MELLE...........................2.8
O FALLON 2 SSW......................2.9
OLD MONROE..........................4.0
OVERLAND............................3.0
ST. LOUIS CITY......................3.4
ST. PETERS 2 SSE....................3.2
SUNSET HILLS 3 SE...................4.6
TROY................................3.9
UNIVERSITY CITY.....................3.5
VALLEY PARK.........................2.8
WARRENTON 1 N.......................3.0
WASHINGTON..........................2.0
WELDON SPRING (NWS OFFICE)..........3.7
WINFIELD LD 25......................4.0

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI...
BELLEVIEW 4 SE......................1.4
FARMINGTON..........................3.5
FREDERICKTOWN.......................1.0
FRENCH VILLAGE......................4.0
POTOSI 4 SW.........................5.0
ROSEBUD.............................2.1
STE GENEVIEVE.......................4.0
SULLIVAN............................3.7
VIBURNUM............................5.0

WEST CENTRAL ILLINOIS...
GREENFIELD..........................4.0
JERSEYVILLE 2 SW....................4.0
MOUNT STERLING......................4.0
QUINCY LD 21........................4.0
RIPLEY..............................4.4
VERSAILLES..........................4.9
WHITE HALL 1 E......................3.5

CENTRAL ILLINOIS...
CENTRALIA...........................3.0
HILLSBORO...........................2.8
KINMUNDY............................3.0
NOKOMIS.............................3.3
RAMSEY..............................3.3
SALEM...............................3.7

SOUTHWEST ILLINOIS...
ALBERS..............................3.4
AVISTON.............................4.5
BELLEVILLE..........................4.2
EDWARDSVILLE 2 W....................3.4
GRAFTON.............................4.5
LEBANON.............................3.3
MEDORA..............................3.2
NASHVILLE 1 E.......................6.0
NEW ATHENS..........................4.4
ST. LIBORY..........................4.0
SMITHTON............................4.0
STEELEVILLE.........................4.4

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