Winter storm watch, wind chill watch in effect ahead of subzero temperatures Thursday

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A winter storm watch and wind chill watch is in effect for St. Louis County ahead of below-zero wind chills and winter precipitation expected across the region Thursday into Friday.

The National Weather Service office in St. Louis issued the watch Tuesday for St. Louis County, St. Louis City, Osage County, Gasconade County, Warren County, St. Charles County, Franklin County and Jefferson County. Affected counties in Illinois include Bond, Madison, St. Clair and Monroe.

The winter storm watch begins early Thursday morning and lasts through Friday afternoon. The wind chill watch starts Thursday evening through Saturday morning.

Hazardous conditions could impact the Thursday morning and evening commutes. Plan on slippery road conditions. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches and dangerously cold wind chills can cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 seconds.

Heavy snow is possible, with accumulations between 1 and 3 inches expected. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph on Friday, resulting in blowing and drifting snow. Wind chills may be as low as 30 degrees below zero.