Southwest Missourians will see the first wave of winter coming in Thursday.

“It looks like as we head into Thursday, most likely morning hours on Thursday — early to mid morning hours — we will start to see precipitation begin across southwestern Missouri,” said Andy Boxell, meteorologist with National Weather Service of Springfield. “Initially it will start to fall across far southwestern Missouri at least in the form of mix of sleet and snow. As we get a little bit further to the southeast down toward Branson and then even over to West Plains, Mo., we may see a little bit more in terms of perhaps a little bit more of sleet or freezing rain mixing in there with the snow. But as we go through the day on Thursday and then into Thursday evening, precipitation should then transition over to all snow across our southwestern Missouri.”

Boxell said moving into Thursday evening, we might see a break.

“Depending on how things play out, we may see a short break Thursday evening and Thursday night, before kind of round two of some snow comes in Friday morning,” he said. “Or we may just kind of continue with a light snow during the evening and overnight hours into Friday morning. So a little bit of uncertainty of exactly how things will play out, but certainly like we will see some wintry precipitation across the region.”

As far as how many inches of snow we will get, Boxell said it is to early to tell.

“I would say in general we are looking at several inches of snow, not a really major winter storm, it doesn’t look like at this point, but certainly enough to cause some travel difficulties out there for sure on Thursday and then again into Friday,” he said.

For motorists traveling to and from work on Thursday and Friday, Boxell gives some advice.

“I certainly would encourage folks to pay attention to the weather, be prepared for the possibility of wintry precipitation beginning while they are work or school and be prepared to give themselves some extra time on their drive home on Thursday,” he said. “Just pay attention to weather, know the forecast and be prepared for slower going on area roadways.”

Moving into the weekend and then into next week, expect colder temperatures.

“On Saturday — at least during daytime hours — I think that all indications are we should be pretty well dry,” Boxell said. “Just very cold, temperatures only getting into the low- to maybe mid-20s on Saturday and wind chills will be down into the single digits or low teens during the day. Then Saturday night, very cold down into the teens with some precipitation starting to overspread the area yet again Saturday night and into to the day on Sunday, probably in the form of just some additional light snow during that time period. But really the big story as we head through the weekend and especially into next work week, it is going to be some very, very cold temperatures, highs only in the 20s and likelihood of single digits, low temperatures at night. Very, very cold out there over the weekend.”