A tiny bit of good news this morning. There are indications that the available moisture might be a bit more limited than first thought. As a result, snowfall totals from the coming storm might be limited to 6”-10” in areas currently under a blizzard warning. It’s hard to believe 6”-10” is “good” news but that’s what we’re dealing with right now. I want to stress that heavier snow totals are still possible in localized areas or if the storm strengthens faster than the current projections.
But the state is already facing some troubles this morning. Light to moderate snow fall during the afternoon and evening hours of Monday has already made travel difficult in many places. The graphic to the right is the road condition report as of 6:30am Tuesday.
Regardless of the final snow totals, we are still facing a powerful storm system that will also bring very strong winds. Travel tonight will become difficult if not impossible over much of eastern and southern Iowa. Roads may become drifted shut and impossible for road crews to clear after sunset. This is a major problem and something everyone who dares to venture out tonight needs to be aware of. Similar to the storm that hit western Iowa last December, it’s possible conditions could deteriorate to the point that those stuck in their cars cannot be rescued by emergency personnel until morning or later.
The best rule of advice in areas under the blizzard warning is if you don’t have to travel tonight, JUST STAY HOME. If you absolutely must take the risk, make sure someone knows when you are leaving, what route you’re taking and when you expect to arrive at your destination. If you do become stranded and emergency personnel are unable to reach you, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE. With zero visibility it is very easy to lose your bearings and become lost. With wind chills dipping well below zero tonight and tomorrow, a person could quickly freeze to death if exposed to the elements.
All in all a very dangerous situation this evening. At some point tonight we hope to launch live coverage of the storm. We’ll effort to bring you as much coverage as possible. We’ll make an announcement on when that live coverage will start on our facebook and twitter page. If and when that happens I hope you join us!