Unlike the last two low pressure systems that swung through the state, this one is different. This Alberta Clipper type system will come screaming in from the northwest. But this one is packing a little more of a wallop than your average Alberta Clipper. Often times, these things pass with an inch or two, maybe a little more. But this one could border on the line of a warning criteria snow event. Right now the thinking is more of a moderate snow event, somewhere in the ballpark of 2”-4” with locally higher amounts approaching the 6” mark.
If that verifies, the next question is where. Models have bounced all over the place on location in recent days, but over the last 24 hours have seemed to settle on northern Iowa. With less time and more certainty, National Weather Service offices in Minnesota and the Dakotas have already begun issuing Winter Storm Watches. I anticipate the same for northern Iowa no later than Sunday Morning.
Whether that watch turns into a warning or an advisory remains to be seen. But at this time Advisory level snow falls appear most likely. We will continue to look at the latest trends in the forecast and report any changes that come between now and Sunday Night.
As the snow tapers off on Tuesday, a blocking pattern will move into the central United States. The current thinking is that this pattern will hold for a while, keeping the weather quiet and perhaps moderating temperatures a little bit. The good news is this pattern will give us a chance to melt our snowpack and potentially open the door to more spring like temperatures in the coming weeks.
Iowa is about to enter the period that can feature sudden and major temperature swings. It should be a fun ride. In the meantime we’ll bring you updates as they come in on what will hopefully be one of our final winter storm systems of the season.