If you live in St. Louis, Missouri, are from St. Louis, Missouri, or have visited for more than three days, you know how schizophrenic the weather can be here. It is not at all uncommon for St. Louis residents to experience drastic weather changes which is what leads to so many allergy sufferers in the midwest. This week, however, it has been a little crazier than normal. Last week, we enjoyed temperatures in the 50s but it quickly dropped to the 20s. Today, it is in the 40s but rainy and the temp has flirted with 30 degrees off an on. Couple the low, changing temps with the rain and we have seen freezing rain and even hail in some areas. Some folks lost power in St. Charles, Missouri due to the weather. The vast weather changes haven't stopped St. Louis residents from enjoying the weekend. The roads were busy, even in the freezing rain, as people continued to honor our very own Stan Musial at Busch Stadium.
Tomorrow, it is expected to be 68 degrees and then back to 41 degrees by Wednesday, 33 degrees by Thursday. Think perhaps Al Gore was onto something? I do. Something isn't right, that's for sure. Not only will tomorrow's temp change cause many people to run to their local drug store for meds and kleenex. But aside from the sniffles and sneezes, these weather changes will cause other problems, some which are already apparent.
With the weather above 40 degrees, despite the rain, many people don't recognize the dangers on the roadway. They continue to walk and drive as if it were a 60 degree, rainy day. But there are huge differences when it is cold out. The obvious difference is that the temperature tends to drop quickly. So while there may have been no ice when you went into the grocery store, by the time you come out, the sidewalk and road may be slick. I am aware of several falls on ice involving the elderly in Kirkwood, Missouri alone today and I am sure there are many more in the St. Louis metro area. Likewise, because the rain can quickly freeze on the roadway with such temperatures, many drivers forget or neglect to lower their speed which leads to car accidents. Typically, we hear that because it was only raining (not freezing rain) and the temps were above freezing, the drivers wrongly assume the roadways aren't frozen. You can learn more about these crashes on the Missouri State Highway Patrol's website. Don't assume this – drive safely, walk carefully.
Thursday morning will be a challenge for road crews and motorists. With the high temperatures and rainy conditions expected over the next couple of days, motorists and pedestrians will fall back into trusting the roadways are warm. These same pedestrians and motorists will likely not expect or remember the change come Thursday morning. Just as I have recommended placing something in your car to remind you, each time you get in the car, to avoid distracted driving (put your phone down, set the radio station BEFORE you pull out of that parking spot), I recommend that everyone stick a note in their car as a reminder to take it slow Thursday morning!