UPDATE: Blizzard warning remains in effect for far northwest Missouri through 6 pm; southbound I-29 reopens (AUDIO)

A blizzard warning remains in effect for far northwest Missouri until 6 p.m. on Friday. The warning includes heavily-traveled I-29 and covers four rural counties: Atchison, Nodaway, Andrew and Holt.

The National Weather Service’s blizzard warning in far northwest Missouri remains in effect until 6 p.m. (January 15, 2021 graphic courtesy of NWS Pleasant Hill Twitter)

National Weather Service (NWS) Pleasant Hill meteorologist Brad Temeyer says blowing snow and 45 mile-per-hour winds have made travel very difficult today.

“We’re still continuing to see very low visibilities up there with the strong northwest winds that are continuing. Fortunately, the snow is starting to taper off up there,” Temeyer says.

The blizzard caused a crash Friday morning in northwest Missouri’s Atchison County, causing southbound I-29 to close for a few hours. It has since reopened.

Crews from the state Department of Transportation (MoDOT) have been working around the clock in northwest Missouri, trying to clear roads.

“But with those strong northwest winds gusting currently to 40 to 45 miles an hour, we’re still seeing visibilities well below a mile in that far northwestern corner of Missouri,” says Temeyer.

Truckers and other motorists are being urged to avoid travel in those four counties, until the warning expires. Towns in the blizzard warning area include Tarkio, Fairfax, Maryville and Mound City.

Mr. Temeyer emphasizes to Missourinet that blizzard warnings are rare in Missouri.

“We only issue these for the worst of conditions when we expect visibilities to be well below a half-a-mile,” Temeyer says.

Our Missourinet Cameron affiliate KMRN reports more than 20 schools in the region canceled classes today, because of the blizzard.

Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s interview with National Weather Service (NWS) Pleasant Hill meteorologist Brad Temeyer, which was recorded on January 15, 2021:

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