While many Iowans enjoyed high temperatures in the 70s on Thursday, the picture today is blustery and cold and some areas may only see 40s for highs. Meteorologist Jeff Zogg, at the National Weather Service, says it’ll be very cold tonight with lows in the 30s statewide and 11 counties in northwest Iowa are under a Freeze Warning tonight into Saturday morning.

“Along with this air mass coming in, there’s some pretty brisk northwest winds bringing in that colder air, especially across the northwest part of the state,” Zogg says. “We do have wind advisories in effect for wind gusts as high as 40 miles an hour if not more. People out and about today, especially those with high-profile vehicles, really need to keep an eye on things and be careful.”

Zogg says it’s not winter yet, by any means, but summer’s certainly behind us. “Changes like this are not atypical for this time of year, it just is quite an abrupt change and takes some adjustment for people,” Zogg says. “For the temperatures we’re seeing, again, it’s not atypical. This time of year, we’re in a transition period between air masses across the state, the battleground. It’s not unusual to see swings like this although this is, admittedly, pretty drastic.”

The forecast calls for flurries in some areas tonight, especially around Mason City and to the east toward Decorah and Dubuque. Iowa has seen many October snows but the average date of the first snowfall in the state is around November 10th. “For this time of year, not entirely unusual, maybe a bit early, but definitely something to keep an eye on,” Zogg says. “We’re not expecting any accumulation but there’s definitely the potential in north-central to northeast Iowa to see some snowflakes with that rain.”

The forecast calls for slightly warmer temperatures next week, with highs returning to the 60s and 70s by Wednesday.