What a difference a day makes: A day after much of Missouri basked in spring-like weather, the reality of the pending winter set in on Thursday with the arrival of bitter cold and a concerning mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Many areas of the Show-Me State were under winter weather warnings. Southwest Missouri seemed especially targeted for foul weather, with up to 8 inches of snow possible by Friday evening.

Highs were mostly expected to reach only into the 30s, a sharp decline from highs in the 60s in many places just 24 hours earlier. Forecasters expect the frigid weather to last for several days.

By mid-morning, snow was falling in southern Missouri. Other areas were getting freezing rain or sleet, but no major wrecks were immediately reported.

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images