The first statewide winter storm of the season is bearing down on Iowa. The entire state is under a winter storm watch for Saturday. National Weather Service meteorologist Miles Schumacher says the threatening weather pattern is developing this morning.
The system is coming up from the southwest U.S. and could start hitting southwest Iowa tonight, quickly spreading over the entire state tomorrow morning. Snow amounts may not be too great, he says, but ice and sleet will be a big concern. Schumacher says the precipitation will be mainly snow in northern Iowa but in the central and southern areas, snow and ice will be a problem.
He says most of the snow will be north of Highway 20 with two-or-three inches around that roadway and perhaps five-to-seven inches closer to the Minnesota border. To the south, snow amounts will be less but the ice could be much thicker.
Schumacher says the good thing about this storm is — it’s on the weekend — and there is also another plus to this big pre-winter storm. He says ground temperatures are still above freezing, at least below the surface, plus, it’s falling during the day which will enable treated roads to stay clearer and road crews can work more efficiently.
Once the storm pulls out of here by Sunday, Schumacher said things should be dry for the first part of the week, with no more significant weather expected for at least another week.