The biggest storm of this winter season will bring snow, wind and bitterly cold temperatures to Iowa over the next few days. National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Small says it started this morning with light freezing drizzle and snow – but only a few inches of snow are expected through tonight.

“The big storm will come through later Tuesday into Wednesday,” Small said. “That’s when we’ll see the heavy snow and the very strong winds.” Temperatures on Tuesday will drop to around zero. Small says the combination of snow, wind and frigid air will make driving or being outside extremely dangerous.

“By Wednesday, we could see snowfall amounts across the state anywhere from four to five inches in the northwest to amounts of a foot or possibly as high as 18 inches in the southeast,” Small said. “We will see very significant blowing and drifting, near-blizzard to blizzard conditions with sustained wind speeds of 25 to 30 miles per hour.”

The snow won’t melt anytime soon. Although temperatures will warm up slightly later in the week, highs aren’t expected above freezing.