Updated On: Feb 04 2014 08:30:17 AM CST
Snow is now falling across much of mid-Missouri and is already creating traffic hazards. The precipitation started in Jefferson city shortly after 5 a.m. and in Columbia shortly before 7 a.m. State and local road-clearing crews were working right as the snow started in their respective areas.
According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, all of Highway 63 and most of I-70 through mid-Missouri are covered. Just after 7:30 a.m. an accident involving several semi trucks blocked both westbound lanes of I-70 just east of the Missouri River bridge.
MoDOT has issued a no travel advisory for the entire state until the snow moves out of the area.
"Blowing snow and high winds make it very difficult for MoDOT crews to clear roads," said state maintenance engineer Elizabeth Wright in a news release Monday. "If there are no other vehicles on the roadways, we have a much better chance of making progress so traffic can get moving again."
ABC 17 Stormtrack Chief Meteorologist Sharon Ray said Monday snow could start to fall in areas west of Columbia as early as 7 a.m., but most of mid-Missouri would see steady snowfall from noon until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Once the snow moves out of the area, wind will pick up. Ray said she was also tracking dangerous wind chills for central Missouri Wednesday night.
Ray said early snowfall estimates ranged from three inches near the Lake of the Ozarks to eight inches near Macon, though totals could change based on the storm's movement. Columbia could see six inches, Jefferson City was estimated to get five.
The threat of several inches of snow forced the University of Missouri, Lincoln University, Stephens College and many school districts across the area to cancel classes for Tuesday, February 4. You can find a constantly updated list of closings and cancellations here.
City offices in Columbia will be closed Tuesday, though essential services like fire, police and public works would continue. The Columbia/Boone County Health Department offices had also been closed Tuesday.
Columbia Transit and paratransit buses will not run on Tuesday. Trash and recycling will not be collected and will be delayed one day this week.
Boone County offices will be open, with minimal staffing. In a news release Monday evening, the county encourage all non-essential staff to stay home Tuesday.
Stay with ABC 17 News and abc17news.com for updates on this developing weather story.
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