By Woodrow Polston
After a rather mild beginning for the season, with temperatures as high as nearly 60 degrees on a few occasions, old man winter finally showed up in town. The weather last Friday evening caused some to take precautionary measures ahead of the storm. It started out with rain in the afternoon and began to change over to snow later in the evening. The Van-Far Indians were scheduled to play against the Bowling Green Bobcats in Vandalia, but the game was canceled because of travel concerns. The Great Plains Kitchen also announced that it would be closed on Saturday morning, because of concerns over the road conditions.
“It looks like we got around 4 inches in some places here in Vandalia,” said City Administrator Darren Berry. “Thankfully, there were no issues with the roads, and there were no issues with power outages reported either,” he added. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, the storm impacted travel conditions for more than half of the state. Road crews worked diligently to clear highways, making the roads safe for weekend travel. They seem to have done well in the Vandalia area.
“We have not had any weather-related calls for roadside assistance as of Saturday afternoon,” said Amy Kuda, of Kuda’s Auto Repair and Towing. It appears as though the snowfall was a pleasant experience for most, as some of the local children were busy making snowmen, while others were enjoying the snow by sledding down some area slopes. Mostly, people were staying in doors to keep warm.
Historically, we have had much colder temperatures in January, and instances of severe weather as well. According to weather.gov., this week in 1995, a winter storm produced nearly 20 inches of snow in the Columbia area, totaling an estimated $2.5 million in damages. This week in 1985, the lowest temperature for the area was recorded in Quincy, with a bitterly cold -21 degrees. The lowest wind chills on record for St. Louis (-48) and Columbia (-44) were recorded. The wind chill at Quincy was -50 which is the 2nd lowest wind chill for that location. Finally, this week in 1936, From the 22nd through the 31st, there were a record 10 days with temperatures below 0 degrees in St. Louis.
The 2022 edition of “The Old Farmer’s Almanac” has predicted that this winter will include cold weather for big swaths of the country, including most of Missouri south of Interstate 70. The 230-year-old publication also suggested that this year could include an “extreme wintry mix” of snow, and “super cold” temperatures that could be expected not just in southern Missouri, but in much of Kansas, New England, “northern portions of the Deep South” and in parts of New Mexico. The almanac also predicts cold, wet weather across the south and Midwest.