A week ago today, Iowans were basking in warm weather that topped off at 70-degrees in some cities. Today’s high temperatures will be less than half that. Meteorologist Jacob Beitlich, at the National Weather Service, says a massive winter storm system is moving across the central United States and it’ll bring snow to much of Iowa’s southern half late this afternoon and tonight.

“It’s going to spread a band of snow across Missouri and Illinois and clip parts of central and southern Iowa,” Beitlich says. “There are Winter Weather Advisories out for three-to-five inches of snow across southern Iowa and in extreme southeast Iowa, we have a Winter Storm Warning where they’ll see heavier amounts.” He says the current forecast calls for cities like Keokuk, Fort Madison and Burlington to get the worst of the snow.

“Anywhere from five to seven inches and then locally, there could be higher amounts,” Beitlich says. “It’ll depend on if we’ll get some convection, or thunder snow, where you have more instability and you could have heavier snowfall rates.” The snow won’t likely be melting anytime soon, so he says Iowans will have to do some shoveling and snowblowing to get rid of what falls today.

“I don’t think we’ll be able to melt it off too quickly,” he says. “Once this storm comes through, there’s a lot of arctic air behind it. We’ll see highs around the seasonal average, upper 20s and mid 30s. That won’t melt the snow too quickly but the sun is getting more powerful so maybe in the long term, say a week out or a week plus, we’ll see a warm-up then.”

See the full forecast at www.weather.gov.