The cold air will build in Wednesday night, setting the stage for the first round of wintry precipitation Thursday. This first round will be the messiest with an area of light snow north of I-44, an area of snow and sleet south of I-44, and an area of freezing rain and sleet along the southern edge.
It appears that the precipitation will break out mid to late Thursday morning from southwest to northeast, and then come to an end by late afternoon Thursday.
1 to 3" of light snow looks possible north of I-44 with a 1 to 3" mixture of sleet and snow further south. Areas south of a Harrison to West Plains line to a Marshall to Doniphan line could see significant accumulations of freezing rain. Over a quarter of an inch of ice accumulation looks possible, and this could result in some power outages.
The next round of wintry weather will be primarily light snow late Thursday night into Friday. Another 1 to 2" of snow looks possible.
One final wave of light snow will likely move through late Saturday night through Sunday. Another 1 to 2" of snow may come with this as well. These multiple waves of wintry weather will leave significant accumulations of sleet and snow on the ground that will likely remain through at least the middle of next week before some melting can take place by the end of next week.
In addition to the wintry weather this will be a prolonged period of very cold temperatures. In fact, this looks like the longest period of cold that the area has seen since February of 2011.
Temperatures will likely not rise back above freezing until Thursday of next week.
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