Strong winds, heavy snow and sub-zero temperatures are expected to start hitting Iowa later today and it’s coming as the Iowa Department of Transportation is still clearing last week’s snow.

Craig Bargfrede, the DOT’s winter operations administrator, says the forecast wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour will make it even harder to clear the roads.

“With the amount of snow that they’re talking and the wind that they’re talking, it’s very possible that we could see some road closures,” Bargfrede says, “especially up in the northern part of the state and northeastern part of the state.”

He says they’ll work with state patrol staff on whether to make road closures.

Bargfrede advises holiday travelers to watch the weather forecast closely. He says given the cold, they’ve lost one important snow-fighting tool.

“A lot of times ahead of a storm, we’ll go out and we’ll put down brine, so we have material out on the pavement or ahead of the storm so that when the storm starts, it can get activated and start doing its job,” he says. “With the temperatures the way they are, that’s not going to be a viable solution for us.”

Bargfrede says strong winds will also create visibility issues.

(Kendall Crawford, Iowa Public Radio)

Radio Iowa