Winter is still over a month away, but many Iowans will be breaking out snow blowers and shovels this weekend. National Weather Service Meteorologist Roger Vachalek says the storm is moving slow, so it’ll likely dump more snow on Iowa than originally forecast this morning. The storm is expected to blanket much of west-central and northwest Iowa.
“We are looking for possibly as much as 10 or 11 inches in the far northwest,” Vachalek said. “As it moves into Iowa tonight, cold air is going to wrap into the back side of it. The rain should be changing over to snow after midnight and continue overnight into Saturday, maybe even into the afternoon across the northwestern section.” Much of the rest of the state will receive rain possibly mixed with some light snow, but little if any accumulation. Vachalek says the snow that does stick will be difficult to move.
“The snow, because of the early season and the fact we don’t have a tremendous amount of cold air around, is going to have a snow ratio of around 10 to 1, which is considered a wet or heavy snow,” Vachalek said. “So, once it does fall, it’s going to be the kind that takes a lot of effort to get off the road or driveway.” A Winter Storm Watch covers 17 counties in west-central and northwest Iowa.
Driving has become difficult on state roads today with the weather conditions. Iowa State Patrol trooper, Doug Cutts, says drivers have not adjusted well to the weather conditions. He says the pavement is wet and there’s fog and drizzle and heavy rain in some places and people are driving too fast for the conditions and too close to each other.
Cutts says the wet pavement has led to cars hydroplaning and running into each other. He says we haven’t had rain in awhile and people aren’t used to driving in these conditions. Cutts says there were injuries in an accident on I-35 where one car slide across the median and hit another head-on near Elkhart. Cutts says drivers are seeing varied conditions across the state.
Cutts says there was some snow in northwest Iowa and he says the bridge decks and culvers get icy before the pavement does. Cutts says you should slow down and adjust for the conditions and five yourself plenty of room.
Radio Iowa’s Pat Curtis also contributed to this story.