The winter storm watch in effect for the lake area and Midwest for Wednesday night into Thursday evening that was issued by the National Weather Service on Tuesday has now been upgraded to a winter storm warning.
Easterly and southeasterly winds of 15-20 mph with gusts around 30 mph are forecast for late Wednesday night and Thursday as the winter storm sweeps in from the west. Snow and sleet are expected to be widespread over the Missouri Ozarks from midnight through 6 p.m. Thursday.
The National Weather Service of Springfield is warning that travel conditions in the lake area could be treacherous during the Thursday morning commute.
The wintry mix of snow and sleet is predicted to start impacting travel almost as soon as the storm begins late Wednesday night. Conditions are then expected to continue to deteriorate into day break Thursday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, travel could become very hazardous or impossible, and advises packing a winter storm kit if you must travel somewhere. The kit should include such items as tire chains, booster cables, a flashlight, shovel, blankets, extra clothing and anything else that would help you survive in case you become stranded.
Accumulations of a half-inch to near three inches of snow and sleet are now being forecast for lake area counties with locally high snow accumulations north of Hwy. 54. Significant sleet accumulations are expected.
Freezing rain on Thursday is expected to accumulate on elevated objects, and damage to trees and power lines could occur if higher ice accumulations occur.
Ice accumulations are projected to range from a few hundredths to around a quarter of an inch. The higher accumulations are expected across southern Missouri, generally along and south of Hwy. 60 where locally higher ice accumulations are possible. An ice storm warning has also been issued across much of the Arkansas Ozarks.