Blizzard on the Way

watchesWe continue to keep a close eye on the forecast as it will be taking a turn for the worse tonight. Snow will begin to work into northwest Iowa by early this evening and will spread to the southeast. Only expecting the snow across the northeast half of the state, or a line from Denison to Des Moines back to Ottumwa and to the northeast. We are only expecting 1 to 3 inches in this area with locally higher amounts possible.

After this band of snow pushes out tomorrow morning, a strong arctic cold front will move through the state tomorrow afternoon bringing another shot of snow and very gusty winds. This second round of snow will be light as we are only expecting another inch or so across northeast Iowa.

A blizzard watch is in effect from 9:00 am Sunday to midnight Monday. This is  because of the strong winds that are anticipated to develop late Sunday morning and into the afternoon. If you live in the blizzard watch, 1 to 3 inches of snow is expected with those locally higher 4 inch amounts possible by Sunday morning. An additional inch is then possible Sunday afternoon bringing totals up to 2 to 5 inches in this area.

For the northeast corner of the state, you are in a winter weather advisory in effect from 9pm tonight until 6am tomorrow morning. This is because of the band of snow that we are anticipating tonight. The heaviest snow will occur between 11pm and 3am. In this area we are expecting snowfall totals to be between 3 and 4 inches by Sunday morning, with that additional inch Sunday afternoon. On top of the winter weather advisory, there is also a winter storm watch in effect. This is still in effect due to the blizzard conditions we are still expecting Sunday afternoon.

48hourforecastsnowfallPortions of Eastern Iowa are still in a winter storm watch which is in effect from 2pm tomorrow afternoon though noon on Monday. This is in effect due to the blizzard like conditions that are expected Sunday afternoon. Would not be surprised to see all winter storm watches to be upgraded to a blizzard warning/watch. Conditions are going to be very hazardous as visibilities will be below a quarter of a mile for much of the afternoon and evening tomorrow night.

Another item that we are watching closely is the potential for squall snow like we saw a week ago in central Iowa. The national weather service has pointed out that the soundings from the January 16th Des Moines profile that resulted in the afternoon blizzard, are very similar to the sounding profiles across northern Iowa. This is something we will have to keep a very close eye on.

If you have plans tomorrow, I can not stress enough to be looking at making back up plans as travel will not be advised tomorrow afternoon across the northeast half of the state. Visibilities will be below a quarter of a mile as winds will be gusting up to 55mph.  Behind the cold front, temperatures will plummet and wind chills will be -25°F to -45°F by Monday morning. We will continue to keep track of the very latest and will bring you the very latest updates on our Facebook page and right here at Iowachase.com.

Zach Sharpe

My name is Zach Sharpe. I am the president and forecaster for the Iowa Storm Chasing Network. You can find me on Twitter @Stormchaserzach and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/stormchaserzach/

(4) Comments

  1. Just pulled in to North Liberty from a trip to Chicago. Started snowing on I80 by about west liberty exit. By the time we got to Coralville exits, it started getting hard to see the road from the blowing snow behind trucks. Hunkering down tomorrow.

  2. I just want to Thank you for your service!!! I was appalled when I read Zach’s journal entry for today. Some people are just never happy.
    Its not easy to predict the weather. Even the the predictions from your local weather stations & The almighty, “The National Weather Service” have made many, many bad predictions.
    They are just that “predictions”. I would rather know in advance if bad weather is predicted then to have a weather tragity
    Keep up the great work!!! You really are respected!!!

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