The national weather service in Kansas City/Pleasant Hill has issued a Winter Storm Watch, which is in effect Friday afternoon through Saturday morning for portions of Western, Central and Northern Missouri, including Pettis County.

Expect light freezing rain to begin developing early Friday morning, transitioning to rain by noon on Friday. A change over to snow will likely take place between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

A narrow band of moderate to heavy snow will likely set up across parts of Northern Missouri by late Friday afternoon and will last through at least Friday evening before gradually diminishing and moving out of the area by early Saturday morning. The heaviest snow will likely end by midnight on Friday night. Light snow will continue through Friday night and end Saturday morning.

The area with the best chance for receiving the heavy snow will be along a line from the Kansas City Metro area to Kirksville. Areas along this line and 30 to 50 miles north and south of that line will be at risk for seeing a period of moderate to heavy snow beginning in the late afternoon to early evening Friday and lasting through late Friday evening.

The potential does exist for heavy snow with snow accumulation rates above 1-2 inches per hour within the heavier snow bands. Snow amounts ranging from 3 to 6 inches will be possible, with some areas within the heavier snow bands potentially receiving amounts higher than 6 inches.

A period of light freezing rain or freezing drizzle will precede the snow event, with some areas getting a couple hundredths of an inch up to a tenth of an inch of ice during the morning hours on Friday. Ice accumulations up to a tenth of an inch will be possible.

Icy surfaces including roadways will become very slick.

Once the snow begins expect visibility to be very low during the periods of heaviest snow. Roads could also become packed with snow very quickly as snowfall rates could be rather high.

A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.

This press release provided by the Pettis County Sheriff's Office.