After an unseasonably warm Wednesday, metro-east residents will see temperatures plummet Thursday when an arctic blast, complete with snow and ice, moves into the region.
The National Weather Service in St. Louis has issued a winter storm watch that will be in effect from Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon.
Forecasters predict snow accumulation between 4 and 7 inches and up to one tenth of an inch of ice before the weekend arrives. Ten to 15 mph winds will come out of the north and gust up to 25 mph throughout the storm.
Rain and sleet is predicted to move into the region about noon and last until about 4 p.m. when the dropping temperature will turn precipitation into freezing rain and make driving hazardous during the evening commute.
As the temperature continues to fall through the night, the freezing rain will become snow with a 70 percent chance the snow will continue into the Friday morning commute. Temperatures will top out at 27 Friday and plunge to 8 in the evening.
Sunny skies are expected Saturday when the high will reach only 22. But there is a 50 percent chance of more light snow Sunday when the temperature will top out at 28.
A winter storm watch is advance notice that severe weather is possible in the area and residents should prepare for adverse weather in case it does materialize as predicted.