ST. LOUIS – Snow continues to fall in the southern parts of the News 4 viewing area, and officials believe up to 10 inches of snow is possible in some regions by Friday evening.
According to News 4 Meteorologist Kent Ehrhardt, the heaviest snow will be in the morning to early afternoon.
“Expect the snow to become lighter in the afternoon and end as a few flurries in the afternoon,” Ehrhardt said.
Regarding accumulation, Ehrhardt said St. Louis saw up to four inches of snow, with lower totals on the north side of the Metro Area.
“The heaviest snow will be in a band near Farmington, Mo to Centralia, Ill. to near Salem, Ill. with 7 to 10 inches,” said Ehrhardt.
Residents in Chester, Ill. saw up 9.5 inches of snow, while at least 8 inches were reported in Mount Vernon.
In Pagedale, a car slid down an icy hill and past a crossing gate, striking a MetroLink light rail train filled with morning commuters. Eight passengers were taken to hospitals for treatment of what appeared to be minor injuries, St. Louis County Police said. The car driver was not hurt.
On Thursday, several accidents were reported across the area as the weather intensified at night. Westbound Interstate 64 at Clayton Road was closed along with WB Interstate 70 at Bermuda for reports of accidents.
A tractor trailer reportedly jack-knifed at I-44 and Lewis Road, shutting down the eastbound lanes. As of 11 p.m., lanes of I-70 had reopened.
“Certainly power outages are going to be a real threat,” said Scott Truett, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in St. Louis. As for driving, snow on top of ice “is a very bad combination,” Truett said.
Adding to the Show-Me State’s woes was the frigid cold. Highs were mostly expected to reach only into the 20s or low 30s, a sharp decline from highs in the 60s in many places just 24 hours earlier. St. Louis reached 69 degrees on Wednesday; afternoon temperatures on Thursday were 40 degrees colder.
Forecasters expect the cold snap to last into next week, with Friday seeing a high of only about 25 degrees.
“We’ll be running some 20 degrees below normal,” he said.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon activated the State Emergency Operations Center for round-the-clock operation in response to the winter storm bearing down on the state.
Several roads in southern Missouri were partly snow- or ice-covered by Thursday afternoon, including a section of Interstate 55 south of St. Louis. Icy roads were blamed in several accidents, though there were no reports of weather-related deaths
Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Tim Hull advised drivers to take it easy, especially since ice on the roads may not be obvious.
Hundreds of schools around the state were not taking any chances, calling off classes for the day. That included Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, which closed for the day at 1:45 p.m. Satellite campuses in other southeast Missouri towns shut down early, too.
In St. Louis, sleet surprised morning commuters—the foul weather wasn’t expected for several hours.
Officials with the St. Louis Health Department urged all city residents to keep their homes at a minimum of 60 degrees, and to dress in layers inside and out if need be. The city also opened its first cold-weather shelter of the season. It was expected to remain open at least through the weekend.
This round of wintry weather could be immediately followed by another. Truett said the current system moves out of the state by Friday night, but a second arrives Saturday night and Sunday. He said it is too early to predict what precipitation, or how much, it will bring.
4Warn Chief Meteorologist Steve Templeton said University of Missouri - Columbia fans who plan to drive to Atlanta for the SEC Game on Friday, should check weather conditions as a row of storms move in across that area.
Here are a number of links to help you prepare and track the weather:
Click here for the KMOV.com Storm Mode page with the latest weather condition updates.
Log on to our Facebook page and tell us what the weather is doing where you are.
During weather events, the News 4 Meteorologists are constantly updating our KMOVWeather Twitter feed. The very latest watches and warnings are automatically posted to this feed. You can view the feed below.
You can also stay aware of any weather threat with radar and forecast updates by downloading the KMOV mobile app!
And always be prepared with the KMOV Radar App!
The Associated Press contributed to this report.