The latest winter storm to hit the state has left western and central Iowa, but will continue to cause problems in southeast and eastern Iowa through tonight. National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve Teachout says the snow is tapering off over eastern Iowa, but winds are picking up. He says there’s a Blowing Snow Advisory for much of southeast Iowa.
A Winter Storm Warning continues for far eastern Iowa through this evening. Many areas over the southern half of Iowa received six or more inches of snow. The Des Moines area recorded eight inches while Oskaloosa and other towns in southeast Iowa reported at least 10 inches on top of Sunday’s storm that brought more than a foot of snow.
Jim Saunders, with the Iowa Department of Public Safety, says the weather contributed to an accident on Interstate 80 east of West Branch. The crash involved five semis and forced authorities to close I-80 eastbound. Saunders says there were no injuries, but one of the semi trailers was loaded with corn and the grain spilled onto the interstate. The DOT cleaned up the mess and the interstate was reopened around 2:30 p.m.
The roads in western and central Iowa have improved since this morning and now called "wet," but the DOT says it’s still very dangerous going in much of southeast and eastern Iowa. "We’ve had troopers covering a lot of accidents and stranded motorists," Saunders said. "We’re still not recommending travel in and around the Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Dubuque areas. Roads are still 100 percent snow and ice covered and there are visibility issues with the blowing and drifting snow." Teachout says there’s another chance for snow on Thursday, but only up to a half inch.
The next big system will involve an arctic blast over the weekend. High temperatures will be in the single digits or teens. "The overnight lows will quickly drop," Teachout said. "We’re looking at about 10-below in the northwest corner, two to four degrees below zero around Des Moines and Ames, and even into Burlington, Davenport or Dubuque areas – we’re looking at temperatures at two to five degrees below zero." The average snowfall for an entire winter season in Iowa is 33 inches. This latest storm has already pushed this season’s total to more than 39 inches.