Even if you are the most ardent fan of snow, it’s hard to believe many would enjoy what Kansas has and will go through recently. After seeing a massive snowfall just a few days ago, another, possibly bigger snow event is threatening. When it’s over, snow totals in some areas could top the 20” mark. As you can tell by the headline, such conditions are not expected in Iowa, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the wintry woods yet.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for portions of southeast Iowa. This is the area most at risk for seeing 6+ inches of snow and strong winds Monday Night into the day on Tuesday. Yesterday, we spoke about the uncertainty in the track and timing of this storm and that continues to ring true. There is a lot of uncertainty about where the moisture will be when it arrives and how close the storm will track to Iowa.
This morning, things are coming into a slightly clearer view, but with such a sharp cutoff on the northwest side between heavy snow and little if any, even the most minor of changes to the track could make a huge difference.
For now, we’ll go under the assumption of the model consensus. Areas of Iowa south of I-80 and east of I-35, face the greatest threat from this winter storm. The forecast models seem to be drifting the storm a little further north than we saw in yesterday’s model runs. If that continues, the threat area could expand further to the north.
Unlike the last snowfall, strong gusty winds could pose a problem as the snow comes down. Unlike portions of Oklahoma and Kansas, at this time we do not expect blizzard conditions here in Iowa. If the current projections prove to be accurate. We could likely see parts of southeast Iowa fall under a Winter Storm Warning, with at least 6” of blowing and drifting snow. A tier or two of counties further north and west of this area would likely be under a Winter Weather Advisory for lighter amounts. But again, with such a sharp cutoff, it will be a difficult forecast to really pin down for any one area.
We’ll have another update this afternoon or evening as new information comes in, and we expect to get a final read on the weather headlines Monday morning or afternoon at the latest.