An Ice Storm Warning is posted for nearly 30 counties across western and northern Iowa as a winter storm drops freezing rain, which forecasters say should soon turn to snow.
Meteorologist Jeff Zogg, at the National Weather Service, says the ice isn’t quite as bad as first feared, but it’s still creating very slick sidewalks and roadways. “We have had reports of some icing across northwest into northern Iowa,” Zogg says. “The reports we’ve received so far been about an eighth of an inch or about a quarter of an inch of icing.”
The ice build-up is snapping tree limbs and causing scattered power outages. At one point this morning, nearly 800 homes in Storm Lake were without power. Nearly 20 school districts in the region either canceled classes or are operating on a two-hour delay, as the pavement is very slippery.
“There have been issues on the roads, so we definitely still advise people, especially in the storm warning area, to be prepared for slick roads,” Zogg says. “They can change very rapidly over a short distance.” The forecast calls for 3-5 inches of snow across parts of the area tonight and into Wednesday, while Zogg says there are a few chances for more falling flakes this week.
“Once this storm system moves out, it’ll be relatively quiet, maybe a slight chance of some snow on Wednesday night into Thursday as a system pulls out,” Zogg says, “and the next chance will be some light snow from Friday night into Saturday.” The Iowa DOT’s road conditions website (511ia.org) shows most of the main routes across Iowa’s northern third as partly to mostly covered, with some roads in the far northwest listed as impassable.