The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for an area that starts in central Iowa and moves east and northeast.

NWS Meteorologist Brooke Hagenhoff says it’s hard to predict if the storm is going to bring rain or snow. “There’s a couple of things that make this a little more tricky than other winter systems. The first one is that we’re kind of on this razor-thin line between rain or snow. And most of the time, if the temperatures off by one degree, we don’t even notice.” Hagenhoff says. “A change of one degree in either direction could make a big difference in what kind of accumulation we see.”

Hagenhoff says it looks like we’ll have some rain start to move into Iowa later this evening. “After midnight into kind of the pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning, we’ll start to see a transition over to snow at least that’s what we’re anticipating,” she says. “And generally, accumulations will be fairly light across a lot of central Iowa and then move towards kind of east-central to northeast Iowa, you start to see a little more accumulation kind of two to three, four, maybe five inches as you get further towards the northeast.”

She says the direction of this storm makes it different from the earlier storms that dropped most of the snow in the northern counties.
“What makes this one a little different is that really northern, is not gonna see any snow,” Hagenhoff says. “The system is actually coming out of the south and lifting into Iowa.”

Hagenhoff says you should pay close attention to the temperatures and changing conditions Thursday, as the commute could get a little difficult. She says whatever new snow we get won’t be around long. “It shouldn’t stick around too long at all. We’ve got temperatures on Thursday afternoon after the snow moves out still warming into the mid to upper 30s for a lot of us,” she says. She says Friday may be a little cooler but then this weekend temperatures should be in the 30s to 40 or higher.