Winter Weather Advisory in effect on Wednesday, Feb. 17 until 6:00 PM CST.
The current conditions in Columbia continue to be cold and snowy which will continue to make travel a potential hazard for the evening. The snow will come to an end this evening, but cloudy skies look to hang around through much of Thursday. Thursday also begins our warming trend that will progress through the weekend while sunshine is expected for the day on Friday. Saturday we could reach above the freezing mark for the first time in two full weeks.
Due to the GFS's ability to better handle the current snowfall and therefore initial conditions this was the model of choice for the forecast period. The biggest challenge of this forecast period was the evolution of the trough-ridge pattern and subsequent warming trend for mid-Missouri.
This forecast is once again dominated by the large trough that has been plaguing the central CONUS over the past week to ten days. However, the main feature will be the trough’s migration and subsequent relief from the arctic air by the weekend.
Following guidance from the GFS, we will see the jet at the 250 level migrate to the east taking with it the convergence needed to generate precipitation at the surface. Both this diminishing of vertical motion and movement of the circulation that has been affecting the area most of the day Wednesday, likelihood of precipitation disappears overnight.
Thursday and Friday share much of the same weather. We will see the 250-mb trough begin to break down and move out of the area and a ridge will begin to form in its place through the day Saturday. Caused by a High pressure system moving to our south along the Gulf Coast, we will see our winds veer noting significant warm air advection. This warm air advection will provide a much needed respite for the area. Granted, it is worth noting that temperatures will remain unseasonably cool, but much warmer than what we have been experiencing.