While parts of southeast Iowa saw temperatures top out this morning in the 50s, snowflakes are flying in the northwest, with more than two inches of new snow on the ground in Rock Rapids. Much of Iowa’s western third is under a Winter Weather Advisory as temperatures — and snow — begin to fall.

Meteorologist Craig Cogil, at the National Weather Service office in Johnston, says a big chill is coming. “We’re going to see this cold air move in and essentially stay through the middle of next week,” Cogil says. “We’re really not going to see highs get much above the teens into the lower 20s with lows down in the single digits. I wouldn’t be surprised to see below-zero readings by early next week as well.”

This storm system has the potential to drop a few inches of snow, but Cogil says another snowstorm will be following along in a few days. “We’re going to watch another system move out of the southwestern United States over this weekend and a pretty good chance of accumulating snow across much of Iowa during the day on Sunday,” he says. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple of inches out of that by the end of the weekend.”

The first offical day of winter is a week from Saturday, December 21st.

(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)