On this official first day of winter, we have some winter weather that is worth talking about. Many of you will be traveling today or in the next coming days. If you are traveling to the north or west you might run into some tricky travels, and here is why. A surface low will begin to move into our area late this evening. Light rain will be entering the state around midnight tonight and will continue to overspread the state. All precipitation initially will be in the liquid form as temperatures will be above freezing.
Eventually by Monday afternoon, the low will continue to progress off to the east, and this will then pull in colder air on the backside of the low. This will begin to transition the rain over to snow across northern and northwest Iowa.
Dry air will begin to pull into this system by early Tuesday morning, and this will begin to shut off the precipitation. From the graphic above, by noon Tuesday, you can see the effect that the drier air is having on this system. Light snow will still be possible throughout the day Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, but the majority of the snow will fall on Monday night.
Accumulations are going to be very light in the state, only expecting 1″ to 2″. The best accumulations will be off to our north and west. Across central and southeast Iowa, this area will see mostly rain, with a chance of freezing rain Monday night into Tuesday as temperatures drop to near freezing. Not expecting much in the way of ice accumulations, but it may be just enough to make things slick. This will continued to need to be watched to see if temperatures dip low enough to introduce this freezing rain chance.
After this system departs on Wednesday, the winds will be picking up behind it. Winds out of the northwest will be gusting up to 25mph-30mph. This may reduce visibilities in places that end up with accumulating snowfall.
The next system that we will be watching will be on Christmas evening into the 26th. Right now the models have been all over the place with this system. For example, above is the GFS experimental which is a higher resolution than the GFS operational and it has the next system tracking right over the state. Unlike the GFS operational and ECMWF which it has it tracking over Indiana. Because of this, all we can do right now is continue to sit back and watch and wait for the models to become more consistent on a track. We will continue to watch and bring you all the very latest details during this week to make sure you can get over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house safely.