On Monday February 3rd it was a beautiful 72 degrees. Then on Tuesday the weather forecasters said St. Louis should expect poor conditions through the afternoon on Wednesday with 2-5 inches of snow accumulating depending on the area.
As usual we prepared for the worst and stationed our equipment to be ready to react. We were expecting rain Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as the temperature was forecast to fall from 51 degrees to 26 degrees. The rain was supposed to change over to sleet and freezing rain and ultimately snow around noon.
On Wednesday morning the forecast was revised to be all sleet & snow through the day with no more rain in the forecast and still expecting 3-5 inches of sleet/snow. We anticipated some of the early snow to melt as it contacted the ground, but in doing so would cool the ground surface considerably. We planned for a late morning application of salt to maintain a safe surface through the day as the surface temperature was expected to fall to near or below freezing in the early afternoon when the snow precipitation rate was forecast to increase considerably. We found it important to take a proactive approach considering just a little sleet can create very dangerous conditions.
Not surprising, the forecast proved to be incorrect. Around noon much of the area experienced a wave of rain which washed much of the products which we applied from the surface. The rain was quickly followed by sleet which accumulated in areas north of Manchester Rd. but did not accumulate as much to the south. We monitored the conditions and determined the ground and air temperatures were sufficiently warm for the sleet to melt at most properties. We continued to monitor the conditions through the afternoon and treated as necessary.
When the afternoon forecast was released it showed the area was still expected to receive more snow and sleet through the late evening and overnight hours. To maintain safe conditions we treated any properties that did not already have sufficient ice melt residue. This application proved valuable when about a half inch of snow covered the area late in the evening on the 5th.
This storm challenged us in that we need to provide a safe surface at your property, yet we strive to do so as cost effectively as possible while also minimizing the impact on the environment. We must base our decisions on the information available at the time and unfortunately that information is not always accurate. We utilize information from the National Weather Service as well as private meteorologists to attempt to predict when a surface may become unsafe. When pretreatment is needed to maintain that safe condition we strive to delay the service as long as possible in order to increase the confidence in the forecast. We appreciate your business and want to assure you we are always looking to provide our services in your best interest. If you have any questions about this event or in the case of future events please do not hesitate to give us a call. You can reach us at 314-494-8863.
Snow Storm Summary of 02.05.2020