Early Snowstorm Shuts Down Schools, Businesses in Eastern Missouri

November 16, 2018

Snow arrived early in eastern Missouri this year, forcing hundreds of schools and many businesses to close on Nov. 15 and causing numerous traffic accidents.

The snowstorm moved into the region Wednesday night and had dumped 4-6 inches (10-15 centimeters) of powder by 8 a.m., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. As much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) could blanket the St. Louis area by the time the storm clears early Thursday afternoon.

Hundreds of schools were closed for the day, and many businesses also didn’t open due to the treacherous driving conditions. There were scattered traffic accidents but no immediate reports of any fatal wrecks caused by the weather. Officials said the school closings reduced traffic and the number of wrecks.

Jared Maples, a National Weather Service meteorologist who has researched early snows in St. Louis, said he found only one that occurred before Nov. 16 that had more accumulation than this one. A storm that began Nov. 5, 1951, and ended the next day dumped 10.3 inches (26.2 centimeters) of snow on the region, which is also the record-high November snowfall in St. Louis.

Another weather service meteorologist, Kevin Deitsch, said the good news about this snow is that it is a dry powder.

“It’s been fluffy, which is good because we were concerned about power outages if (the snow) was wetter, with the leaves being on trees,” he said.

The St. Louis Zoo closed for the day Thursday “in the interest of public and employee safety.” The zoo is typically open year-round except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Bob Becker, St. Louis district maintenance engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said 200 snowplows were out all night and were still clearing roads as of mid-morning.

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