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Winter weather has returned to Northwest Missouri and it’s bringing just about everything with it — rain, freezing rain, sleet, snow, high winds and potential for downed powerlines and whiteout conditions. The system is expected to continue through Saturday evening, Jan. 11, and will impact every corner of the region and the entire state.

A wintry mix is falling now and ice may build up before snow moves in later this evening, Friday, Jan. 10, according to a press release from the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Snow is expected to be heavy at times with rates reaching 1 inch per hour with total accumulations up to 3 to 6 inches possible, with the heaviest band expected along the Interstate 35 corridor. With the rapid rate of the snowfall, combined with winds, white out conditions are likely. Drivers should plan accordingly and if at all possible, avoid traveling during the height of the storm. Leave early and then stay in until the storm subsides and plow operators have an opportunity to clear roadways.

With the expected rate of snow fall, and the anticipated whiteout conditions, snow plows will not be able to keep up with the snow as it is falling and it will take some time after the snow stops in order to get roads to near-normal conditions.

For those who must travel, MoDOT recommends making sure to have a full tank of gas before heading out. Drivers who encounter car troubles or are involved in a crash are advised to remain in their vehicles with their seatbelts on.

"Slow down, leave plenty of follow room between you and other vehicles, and plan for extra travel time," MoDOT cautions. "As always, keep your seatbelt on and your phone off. Buckle Up. Phone Down."

Missouri road conditions are available through MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map, available online at www.modot.org.

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