The main concern we have with the forecast this evening is with a system that will develop in the Oklahoma area and will push to the north and east. This will bring a mix bag of all three forms of precip by Friday afternoon. This low that develops will slide across the southeast corner of the state Friday afternoon and this is where the forecast becomes challenging.
This is what looks to happen as of now. Starting early Friday morning after 2am, some flurries will be expected out ahead of the low but this will taper off by 7am. No accumulations are expected from these flurries. Then as the low approaches the southeast corner of the state, precip will start to intensify. There is plenty of moisture to work with so we are expecting some moderate liquid totals. Some of these totals could approach 3/4” in southeast Iowa. Everything that we have stated up to this point looks to be certain as all the models are showing this.
Now what is the tricky part is where will the freezing rain and snow line set up. Right now it looks like the southeast corner of the state could see freezing rain early on with a transition to all rain by 11am on Friday. The freezing rain line looks to stretch from Creston, through Des Moines, back up through Mashalltown and on over to north of Cedar Rapids. This is where the weather prediction center has placed much of this area under a 50%-60% chance of seeing over a 0.1” of ice accumulation. The further north you go, this is where you will see snow. Snow accumulations look to remain light around 2”, but it is possible that we could see some moderate snowfall totals mixed in there in places. Northwest Iowa, places like Sioux City and Spencer look to miss the majority of this storm system.
A concern that we have is with much of the ground temperatures still well below freezing, is if freezing rain did transition over to rain, could it still be possible that the rain would freeze on these cold surfaces? How much of an impact will this have, is uncertain at this point. There is still much to be worked out with the track of this storm system as a shift north or south in the track would lead to different results across the state. We will continue to keep an eye on this storm system as Friday is setting up to be very messy and we will bring the very latest right here at Iowachase.com.