FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -- It’s a tale of the two sides of the state.
Kansas City is basking in sunshine and warmer temperatures. But in St. Louis, they are bracing for a winter storm.
Just 150 miles east of Kansas City, there is a Winter Weather Advisory for the counties shaded in purple. St. Louis is in the pink, and it’s not a good thing. That’s where a Winter Storm Warning is effect through Thursday night.
Wednesday afternoon, an area of low pressure was centered over northern Arkansas. This low is gaining strength.
Look again at the graphic above and remember that air flows counter-clockwise around low pressure.
See the bright white clouds to the right of the "L?" That’s indication of moisture being pulled into the storm. The counter-clockwise flow is also drawing colder air into the system from Chicago.
Where the cold and warm meet, that’s called convergence. When air convergences, it rises. Rising air cools and condenses.
Within the clouds, there are tiny super cooled water drops. These water drops and ice crystals turn into snowflakes and fall to earth.
And this case, there will be millions and millions of snowflakes. A sampling of the computer of the data suggests 2 to five-plus inches of snow is possible in and near St. Louis.
But there could be more snow than what computer guidance suggests.
This storm will likely form a comma head, technically called a Deformation Zone. This is an area where the rising air and the moisture is maximized. It’s also an area where the clouds begin stretching because of the change in wind direction within the storm.
These zones can prolong the snowfall for several hours and add several inches to a storm’s snow total. The most likely area for this “Comma Head” to set up is over southwestern Illinois. There is a chance, albeit small, that up to eight inches of snow will fall here.
While the chance for more than eight inches remains limited, there is a 40 to 80-percent chance that at least four inches of snow falls from St. Louis along Interstate 70 and Interstate 64 all the way to Indiana border. Travel in this area tonight and Thursday is highly discouraged. If you know anyone who needs to make this trip, have them put it off until later Friday or Saturday.
So while western Missouri digs out the sunglasses on Thursday, the other side of the state will be digging out of a snowstorm.