A wintery mix of freezing rain, snow, wind and bitterly cold temperatures is making its way to Iowa. Drizzle and rain has already started over parts of northern Iowa prompting a number of schools to dismiss early today. National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Lee says the rain will spread south and switch to snow sometime overnight.

"It’s difficult to get a handle on the snow amounts right now because of the fact that we will have so much mixed precipitation," Lee says, "but it certainly appears that some locations could receive several inches." The heaviest snowfall, possibly 5 to 7 inches, is anticipated over north-central and northeast Iowa. Lesser, but still significant amounts of snow are expected to the south. Lee says the precipitation will be followed by strong northerly winds.

"By (Tuesday) night, all of our precipitation will be done, but it will be quite cold. We’ll be looking at lows in the single digits over a good chunk of the state," Lee said. "Wind chills could be below zero at least in the northern half of the state." The mix of rain, followed by snow and winds will likely make any traveling difficult.

Lee says the southeast quarter of the state could have the most dangerous road conditions, especially in the morning. "Most of the precipitation will be tailing off by early afternoon, but I don’t know how long it will take for the road conditions to improve," Lee said. "Another issue, in the places we do get snow, because we’re going to have high winds tomorrow during the day, you’re going to get blowing and drifting of snow across the roads and that’s not going to help any either."

Motorists can check the latest road conditions on-line at the  D.O.T.’s website and the  latest weather forecast at the National Weather Service’s website .