Snow expected to arrive late Saturday night

An emergency declaration is not expected from the city of Hannibal, despite as much as 6 inches of snow forecasted for over the weekend.

City Manager Jeff LaGarce said circumstances are different than when such a declaration was issued in mid-January.

"On Jan. 22, forecasts were anticipating 7 inches of snow, on top of the 14 inches that had just fallen the preceding week. Roadsides were piled with snow, big piles, and the streets remained icy and tenuous – with more inclement weather predicted," he said. "This time around we may get 4-6 inches of snow, but this isn’t coupled with the same conditions that existed in late January."

The National Weather Service scaled back its snow estimates Friday, after predicting earlier in the week the Hannibal area could receive up to 6 inches of snow from Saturday night into early Sunday afternoon. Ben Herzog, a forecaster with the NWS, said 3-5 inches is more likely to fall on Hannibal.

"The core of the heavy snow will actually be south of I-70," he said. "Our current forecast for that corridor is 6-8 inches, though we're getting in a little bit of data this morning that indicates it might be less than that."

Accumulating snow is expected to impact travel conditions. "Even if the maximum amount is 6 inches, it is still going to cause some travel headaches. Even up by you guys (in Hannibal), if you only see 3 inches, that can be problematic," Herzog said. "The good news is it looks like the heaviest snow will probably be early Sunday morning when traffic is on the lighter side. There should be fewer motorists and fewer problems."

Unlike southern Missouri, where freezing rain and sleet could mix in, Herzog said Hannibal should see only snow.

Accompanying the snow will be some frigid air. After reaching the upper 30s to low 40s during the day on Saturday, temperatures will drop into the 20s and remain there until Sunday afternoon.

"Sunday evening and overnight Monday, we will see really cold temperatures drop into the area," Herzog said. "Right now, the low temperature for Hannibal on Monday morning is about 3 degrees. The wind chill that morning could drop to as low as -10 or so."

Although the calendar says it is March, Herzog said spring-like weather is not anticipated soon.

"The extended forecast is calling for continued cold air," he said. "I don't know that we have anything (more snow or ice) on the horizon, but at this point it's hard to rule anything out with the (weather) pattern that we have been under."

danny.henley@courierpost.com