Heavy snow is already falling in parts of northwest Iowa and soon, much of the state will be covered with a new blanket of white.
Roger Vachalek, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, says this latest winter storm system is going to drop a lot of snow across most of Iowa today.
“It will be spreading moderate-to-heavy at times snowfall across the region throughout the daytime hours and into the early evening,” Vachalek says. “This will be a quick-moving system but it is expected to drop anywhere from four to five inches of snow over a wide area.”
The heavy snow could cause challenges for anyone who has to be outside, especially motorists. “We don’t have a lot of wind with this snow but we are going to see about an inch per hour at times,” Vachalek says. “That means your visibility will be down to a half-mile, maybe less. If you’re traveling on area roads and interstates, be extremely cautious because the visibilities may impair your vision.”
Both of Iowa’s major political parties are having their precinct caucuses tonight, putting more people on the roads than on a typical Monday night. The snow should be done falling in northwest Iowa by midday and in central Iowa by late afternoon, but eastern Iowa could have a difficult late-day commute due to the falling flakes.
“For the early evening, there may be some impacts,” Vachalek says. “The big thing by that time is, the roads may be in rough shape in a few areas. The plows and state crews will be out working on area roads today and this evening but people should allow a little extra time to get to those caucuses tonight to be on the safe side.” A wide area of east-central Iowa, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the Quad Cities, may get six inches of snow today, or more. A Winter Weather Advisory is posted for most of Iowa. It covers all but 16 counties in southwest and south-central Iowa.
“Following the snow tonight, it’s going to be rather cold,” Vachalek says. “We are expecting low temperatures across northern Iowa to be down to about ten-below and here in central Iowa, right around zero. Tomorrow morning, another shot of cold winter air following the system that’s going to be with us today.” Keep up to date with the changing forecast at weather.gov.