An Arctic cold front from Canada will knock heads with a sub-tropical Pacific storm from off the California coast to kick up moderate snowfall amid frosty temperatures Sunday and Monday nights.
The National Weather Service in Springfield says Sunday night's snow will probably turn into rain during the day Monday before the return of snowy conditions Monday night, although a slight variation in weather patterns could keep it snowy all day Monday.
NWS Observations Program Leader Larry Dooley said Friday afternoon that today will be "sunny and cool" with highs in the mid-30s and overnight lows in the low 20s. "The clouds will move in late Sunday afternoon after a nice daytime high in the low 40s," Dooley said, adding that Sunday night's low reading should be around 30 degrees.
"We're not going very high on accumulations, but there will be overnight snow Sunday, turning to rain during the day Monday and back to snow Monday night. But if the Canadian front moves a little bit farther south and more cold air filters in under the system, it could stay snowy all day Monday instead of turning to rain.
"I'd pay attention to the forecast this weekend and be careful if I went out on New Year's Eve because there could be frozen precipitation on the way home."
The forecaster said Monday temperatures will range from the mid-30s to low 20s. The wintry precipitation is expected to move out of Southwest Missouri after midnight Tuesday and leave the first day of 2013 clear and cold with a high in the upper 20s.
Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Watson in Carthage said Friday night that motorists should take a series of precautions. "If it's snowing, sleeting or even raining, we ask people to reduce their speed and allow a little extra time to get where they're going," Watson said.
"Make sure before you get in your car that all the windows are cleaned off and you have good visibility. We encourage drivers to buckle up at all times and plan ahead. That's one of the biggest things."
Watson said Missouri travelers may also call the MSHP for a toll-free road conditions report at 1 (800) 222-6400.