Winter Storm Set to Hit Iowa

Well it is no surprise but the National Weather Service out of Des Moines has issued a Winter Storm warning going into effect from 3 pm Thursday to noon on Friday. Many weather forecasters have been pulling out their hair as the models have been back and forth over the past few days. What has been consistent is that the state of Iowa is going to see snow, but the question has been how much?

Now that we are only 24 hours out, we are starting to get a better idea of who will see how much, and when. Areas in the pink are in a winter storm warning, and those counties will receive the highest snowfall totals. Starting tomorrow around noon, counties in Southwest Iowa will start to see the flakes fall.  Snow will then develop over central Iowa in the afternoon on Thursday. Heavy snow will then develop around the rush hour commute and will last for several hours before diminishing off later Thursday night. Light snow will then last through the morning hours of Friday.

Current forecast models have the heaviest snow in Southwest and Western counties of Iowa. This is where total accumulations of 8 “-12” of snow with locally higher amounts are possible. Over Central Iowa, a band of 6”-9” is expected with Eastern Iowa ending up with 3”-6” of snow with locally higher amounts possible.

This storm is going to cause travel headaches no matter how much snow we receive. Easterly winds will increase to 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35mph at times before diminishing later in the night.  During this time,snowfall rates of one to two inches per hour will occur causing visibilities to be reduce to one quarter mile or less for several hours.

We will continue to monitor any changes in the forecast and bring you additional information as it comes in.

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:

One Comment

  1. We’re going to be driving and leaving Indianapolis around 6 pm Thursday and the goal is making it to Des Moines whenever it’s safe to do so. How far do you think we can get before we’ll hit enough ice/snow to call it a night?

    I see you say the heavy stuff will make it to Central IA by Thursday evening. Could we make it to Central IL or the Quad Cities even or is that going to be getting hit already by late Thursday night?


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