High Wind and Snow in the St. Louis Area
December 20, 2012

by John Farley

As a blizzard shut down highways from Colorado through parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, and the northwest parts of Missouri and Iowa, very high wind and lighter snow also occurred to the south of the main track of the storm. In fact, some of the strongest wind occurred in the St. Louis area, where a 67 mph gust was recorded by the National Weather Service at Lambert Airport. That gust occurred about a half hour before I took the picture above in Edwardsville, IL, about 25 miles ENE of the airport. The wind was strong enough to cause major structural damage to several buildings around the St. Louis area, and considerable tree damage and widespread power outages. In fact, two fatalities in Madison County IL, where the picture above was taken, may be attributable to the storm, when loss of power shut down electric-powered oxygen units used by people with medical conditions that required oxygen administration.

The storm was also accompanied by several hours of light to briefly-moderate snow, but above-freezing temperatures and very warm ground following several days with temperatures in the 60s prevented the snow from accumulating more than a few tenths of an inch anywhere in the St. Louis area, and less in most places.

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