By Friday morning, West Plains Transportation Director Brian Mitchell said, the city was prepared for any flash flooding or freezing precipitation through today. He said there are four low water crossings in the city. Girdley Street near Morlan-Shell Ford, shown here, is one of them; the other three are along CC Highway. City crews have put barricades next to low water crossings in case the crossings need to be closed. Mitchell also said the city has three trucks with snow plows and salt spreaders on stand-by in case of ice or snow.   

Unseasonably warm weather Friday came ahead of storm front and a cold snap that will bring a very slight chance of ice or snow Saturday evening and a greater chance of flash flooding, according to the National Weather Service in Springfield.

Most of the chance for ice and snow lies from northwest to central Missouri, according to forecasters.

Rain showers are expected before 3 p.m. Saturday, changing to snow showers and freezing rain as the temperature is predicted to drop to below freezing by 5 p.m. Winds are expected to shift from the north to the west, gusting as high as 24 miles per hour.

Temperatures will likely fall to about 25 overnight into Sunday but during the day, the sun will return, the wind will shift to the south, and temperatures will rise to about 46 degrees.

As of Friday morning, the biggest hazard reportedly anticipated were flash flooding from heavy rain and a limited possibility that Friday’s thunderstorms could become severe and be accompanied by damaging winds, hail and  tornadoes.

A flash flood warning was put in effect early Friday ahead of predictions of 2 to 4 additional inches of rain with the possibility of rainfall up to 6 inches in some areas. Drivers are urged to watch low water crossings and turn around when encountering crossings covered with water.

Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation also reminded motorists not to drive into low water crossings or around barricades.

“MoDOT will be closely monitoring the state’s flood-prone areas and will have crews on standby into Saturday in preparation for any flash flooding or if there is a need to close roads,” said Natalie Roark, state maintenance director.

About half an inch of rain fell from about 7 p.m. Thursday night to 9 a.m. Friday morning in West Plains, according to the National Weather Service.  

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