The days of ice and rain seem to have been replaced by more bad weather in the form of rain and melting snow, throughout Missouri and parts of the Midwest, while a blizzard has been forecast in Minnesota for Friday. On Wednesday, the warm and sunny weather saw people coming out to enjoy the break from the ongoing wet and cold that had persisted for months. Conditions deteriorated on Thursday, however, with pedestrians having to pick their way through a cold and wet mess of rain, slush, snow and even some sleet. In Wisconsin, parts of Indiana, and Northern Illinois, there was fresh snow and sleet to contend with. The wind and sleet damaged three hangars at the Northwest Missouri Regional Airport. All this looks set to change for the worse on Friday.
The latter part of Thursday saw temperatures rising and a steady rain and melting snow in Chicago. There was widespread concern among commuters and homeowners about the possibility of flooded sidewalks, basements and streets. Many people experienced flooded streets right up to their doorsteps and had resorted to moving things out of their basements. Others had reported piling things in the basement, on top of milk crates, to prevent flood damage caused by melting snow. In places, like Indiana, as much as 18 inches of melting snow had nowhere to go because the rivers and streams were still frozen – hence, the flooding. The rain and warming temperatures are expected to be accompanied by winds of more than 50 mph and some fog.
While Missouri and the other Midwestern states are bracing for more bad weather, winter storm Seneca is expected to bring blizzard conditions to Minnesota and nearby states. The Weather Channel reported that the storm is expected to move across the upper Midwest on Friday and will bring more snow and high winds. The storm, which has already caused fresh snowfall in the Rockies and Cascades, will move from Kansas to Lake Superior early Friday. Places that can expect the greatest amount of snowfall are eastern Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa where anything from six to twelve inhes of snow is expected.
Many areas of Michigan have already had so much snow that the authorities are cautioning against the possibility of roof collapses, such as the one that injured two women in Grand Rapids on Wednesday. This region has already recorded 101 inches of snow. Schools remained closed in Southern Minnesota, due to strong winds and the relentless snow. Public Schools in Minneapolis also cancelled all evening activities. The National Weather Service has sent out a blizzard warning for all parts of south central and south eastern Minnesota with expected wind speeds of 40 to 50 mph. Reports are coming from the Storm Prediction Center of tornadoes and thunderstorms in Illinois, Georgia and Alabama. Trees were toppled by strong winds and hundreds of families went without power on Friday morning. With a blizzard on the forecast for Friday, and Missouri and other parts of the Midwest warned of more bad weather, it looks like the next spell of warm weather could still be some ways away.
By Grace Stephen