(NWS graphic)

After unseasonable warmth on Monday in the low 50s, forecasters say light snow is likely later today in northern Iowa, the first part of a two-part winter wallop.

Meteorologist Cory Martin, at the National Weather Service, says this first round won’t cause much trouble, but the second round promises to be a doozy.

“We’re only expecting maybe some really light snow near the Minnesota border today into tonight,” Martin says. “Possible minor travel impacts, but really we’re not expecting that to have a whole lot of bite to it. Most of the attention is on a much more significant system that’ll be crossing through Wednesday and into Thursday.”

Winter weather advisories and warnings are posted for much Iowa’s northern half for Wednesday and Thursday, while a Blizzard Warning is in effect for Lyon and Osceola counties. Martin says a fast-moving system will arrive tomorrow. “We’re looking at precipitation overspreading much of the state beginning Wednesday morning and into the afternoon,” he says. “Varying temperatures are going to lead to a whole mixed bag of precip types from north to south across the state. We’re looking at highest probabilities for snow, potentially quite heavy near the Minnesota border where they could see possibly up to 10 inches.”

The forecast for the Estherville area calls for nine to 13 inches of snow, though it could taper off to just rain in southern Iowa, while central Iowa may be facing a combination of rain, sleet, snow and ice. Martin says the roads could be treacherous in parts of the state.
“We could see some hazardous travel conditions develop, especially going into Wednesday night,” Martin says. “If we do see any change over to snow, with how strong the winds are going to be, that’s going to blow around quite a bit. Check ahead on travel conditions and on the latest weather conditions, especially if you’re going north up into Minnesota. It looks like they get a whole heap of snow up there.”

Moving forward, there is a chance of light snow for Friday, but the weekend ahead to looks to be dry for much of Iowa.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)

Radio Iowa