A winter storm is expected to move into the region tonight. A winter storm warning will be in effect from midnight tonight to midnight Tuesday.
Timing: Freezing rain is expected to develop over much of the warning area later tonight before quickly changing to all snow Monday morning. Monday morning will be the period of heaviest snow, but additional snowfall and other mixed wintry precipitation of varied intensities will continue into Monday evening before switching predominately to all lighter snow overnight Monday night or early Tuesday.
Accumulations: Snow totals will range from 1 to 3 inches on the east side of the warning to 6 to 10 inches across northwest Iowa. This will be a long duration snowstorm, generally stretched out over a 24 to 36 hour period. Areas east of the James River Valley, especially across southwest Minnesota and parts of northwest Iowa, could see locally higher amounts. Ice accumulations will be highest on the southeast side of the warning area with up to 0.25″ of accretion with much lighter amounts towards the Minnesota border.
Winds: Wind speeds will range from 5 to 15mph while the bulk of the snow is falling Monday and Monday evening. Northwest winds will increase later Monday night and Tuesday, when speeds will average 15 to 25mph. Falling snow will reduce visibility to less than a mile at times.
Light freezing drizzle may crease patchy slippery spots prior to snow arriving. Once snow begins to fall, snow covered roads are expected with this storm, creating hazardous travel conditions Monday into Tuesday. The increasing winds may also lead to areas of drifting snow by Tuesday.
A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
A winter weather advisory is also in effect from midnight tonight to 6pm Monday. Rain and freezing rain will overspread the area tonight and persist into Monday morning before a precipitation transitions to rain and tapers off.
Ice accumulations of 0.1″ to 0.2″ are expected. East winds at 5 to 15mph will be common. Ice accumulations will lead to hazardous travel conditions, and may especially impact the Monday morning commute.
A winter weather advisory for freezing rain means periods of freezing rain are imminent or occurring. Freezing rain may cause driving to become extremely dangerous, so be prepared to use caution when traveling.
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