BRACE FOR IMPACT

watchesWe continue to keep a close eye on the forecast as it will be taking a turn for the worse tonight. This system will come in 3 different phases. Phase one will begin here in the next few hours across northern Iowa.Snow will begin to work into northwest Iowa by early this evening, mainly after 7pm, 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. The heaviest of the snow will fall from Mason City, to Waterloo, and on down to Davenport. We are only expecting 2 to 3 inches in this area with locally higher amounts possible. Lesser amounts are expected further to the south. This snow will be very light and fluffy causing it to be blown around very easily.

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 will be phase two. This second round of snow will be light as we are only expecting another inch or so across northeast Iowa.

A BLIZZARD WARNING has now been issued from 9am to midnight Sunday across northern Iowa and from noon to midnight Sunday for central Iowa. Blizzard conditions will develop by late Sunday morning, then persists through Sunday evening. The worst conditions are expected from around noon through 9pm Sunday. Widespread whiteout conditions will occur due to the strong northwest wind gusting up to 55mph.

48hourforecastsnowfallA WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is now in effect from 9pm this evening to noon Sunday for northeast Iowa due to the snow expected this evening. Once the snow has stopped falling, winds will kick up and cause white out conditions. This is why a winter storm warning has also put into effect for tomorrow.

A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for much of eastern Iowa. This goes into effect at noon on Sunday and will last through midnight Sunday. The heaviest snow will occur between 11pm and 4am. Snow totals of 3 to 5 inches are expected. The snow will make roads slippery and reduce visibilities late this evening and overnight. The visibility could be reduced to less than a mile at times. White outs with near blizzard conditions will occur Sunday afternoon and evening as northwest winds of 25 to 35mph with gusts of 45 to 50mph blow and drift the snow.

A HIGH WIND WARNING has now been issued as well. This warning goes into effect at 3pm Sunday and will go through midnight Sunday. Winds will be picking up Sunday mid afternoon and evening. West to northwest winds of 30 to 40 mph gusting to 60mph will be likely in this warning. Areas in southern Iowa that are not expecting as gusty of winds are in a WIND ADVISORY. This advisory goes into effect at 6pm Sunday and will last through midnight Sunday. Winds of 25 to 40mph with gusts up to 50mph are likely.

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. Phase 3 is behind the front. Behind the cold front, temperatures will plummet and wind chills will be -25°F to -45°F by Monday morning. This is why across southeast Iowa a WIND CHILL ADVISORY is in effect from midnight Sunday, through noon on Monday, and across northeast Iowa, a WIND CHILL WATCH is in effect from late Sunday night through Tuesday 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/

(15) Comments

  1. “Snow will begin to work into northwest Iowa by early this evening, mainly after 7pm, 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. The heaviest of the snow will fall from Mason City, to Waterloo, and on down to Davenport.”
    —This statement completely contradicts itself. You state that snow will begin to work into northwest Iowa by early evening, yet you also state only to expect the snow across the northeast half of the state. Moving on: “A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for much of eastern Iowa. This goes into effect at noon on Sunday and will last through midnight Sunday. The heaviest snow will occur between 11pm and 4am. Why is the winter storm warning in effect at noon on Sunday through midnight Sunday, yet the heaviest snow is to occur between 11 pm and 4 am? Very confusing. I read it several times and thought to myself ‘what station did this come from? I can’t follow what was written’. Then I scrolled down. I appreciate you’re meteorologist, but during a severe weather alert such as this, make sure what you’re writing is easy to follow & makes sense.

    • Zach Sharpe

      Thank you for your concern, as I will try to explain myself. When I said snow will enter northwest Iowa and move to the southeast, with the highest amounts in the northeast half of the state, this is the case. If you draw a line from the northwest tip of Iowa, to the southeast tip of Iowa, anywhere to the northeast of that diagonal line is considered the northeast half of the state. Moving on to your next point about the warnings, this does get confusing for the average citizen due to the way the national weather service issues these warnings. The heaviest snow will fall from 11pm to 4am and during this time, a winter weather advisory is issued due to this heavy snow. After the snow has fallen the winds will pick up on the backside causing white out conditions after the noon hour. This is why the national weather service has issued a winter storm warning going into effect at noon on Sunday. A winter storm warning classifies that conditions will be worse due to the blowing snow. It is all how the national weather service classifies what will be worse. If you have any other questions and or concerns about our articles, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

  2. Enjoy this site very much, You have only been off once all winter so far. I only thing I would like to see better is a larger graph describing what the colors across the state means as we get older we are not able to read such tiny print. Thanks for your good work.

  3. Hi Zach…love your site…we have to travel east on Hwy 18 and North on I-35 to St. Paul area in Minnesota – any closings?
    Heading to funeral; plan is to leave around noon Tues… what are your thoughts? Thanks…DS

  4. I planned on picking my daughter up from college in Waterloo on Friday and bringing her home to Cedar Rapids for the weekend taking her back Sunday early afternoon what are the odds of my making it or should I just forget it again this weekend. We have to get medicine up to her before the weekend what’s the best day to go up if I can’t get her home.

    • Zach Sharpe

      Snow will begin in Waterloo around 2pm on Friday and will clear out by early Saturday morning. Now on Sunday, snow will begin Saturday night, around 7 to 8pm and will continue snowing through the day on Sunday. Snow will not clear out until the very early morning hours on Monday. Hope this helps making your decision.

  5. I will be coming from Omaha to DSM on Friday, is there a certain time the snow is moving in? Is it forecast to be a light snow and no worries or? I can’t seem to find anything on the severity of the snow on Friday to decide if I should cancel travel or not. Thanks!

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