A significant winter storm will be impacting all of Iowa Friday and Friday night. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are up for all counties in the state through early Saturday morning. Scattered snow showers will move in during the morning Friday from the northwest and spread to the southeast. Snow looks to be widespread during the afternoon and evening hours Friday. Due to higher temperatures, a rain/snow mix is anticipated for the far western part of the state during the afternoon. For everyone else, this will be an all-snow event. Snow showers will become less numerous late Friday night and all snow is expected to exit southeastern Iowa by mid-morning Saturday.
The Quad-City area will be on the eastern edge of a winter storm that is expected to dump as…
While there continues to be uncertainty in how long the heaviest snow will last, it’s looking increasingly likely that portions of the state could see 8 to 10 inches. This is most likely to occur along a line stretching from Estherville, Iowa in the north to Corydon, Iowa in the south. West and east of this line, snow totals will gradually get smaller. The forecast snow total for Sioux City, is 3 to 5 inches. For Mason City, the snow total should range from 4 to 8 inches. Waterloo is looking at 3 to 7 inches of snow. Muscatine will likely see 2 to 5 inches. Meanwhile, the Quad Cities is expected to see one the lower snow totals in the state, but will still end up with 1 to 4 inches.
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During the afternoon and evening Friday, snow will be heavy at times. With temperatures below freezing except for the far western portion of Iowa, snow will be able to accumulate quickly. Winds will also be gusting 25 to 30 mph. The combination of falling and blowing snow will greatly reduce visibility. All of this will lead to hazardous road conditions. Travel should be avoided during the afternoon and evening hours. If you must venture out, give yourself plenty of extra time to reach your destination. Drive below the speed limit and expect to encounter snow covered roads.
While the heaviest snow will be behind us after midnight and winds will be coming down, travel will still not be easy across the state through at least Saturday morning. Breezy conditions will continue to blow the snow that’s already fallen around. As is usual with winter storms, it will take snow plows time to clear the roads. Major highways and interstates will likely be in good shape after the early morning hours Saturday, but secondary roads may not get plowed until the afternoon, especially in locations with the higher snow totals.
Along with the snow, expect temperatures to drop. While high temperatures Friday will range from the mid 30s to upper 20s across most of the state, low temperatures Friday night will be in the upper single digits and teens. Factor in the breezy conditions and “feels like” temperatures will be around zero degrees in many locations early Saturday morning. High temperatures Saturday will generally be in the upper teens and low 20s, but wind chills will likely not climb out of the single digits. Winds will be light Saturday night, but low temperatures will still reach around zero degrees for many.
What to do after a winter storm
What to do after a winter storm
Monitor the weather closely
Avoid walking or driving on ice and snow
Check on animals and people who require special assistance
Let your loved ones know you’re safe
Conserve food and water
If you’re stranded in a car, wait for the storm to pass completely
Find the nearest shelter
Dress for the weather
Shovel snow carefully
Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia
Use flashlights rather than candles
Check for downed power lines near your home
Look for broken windows
Call a plumber to inspect your pipes
Look for ceiling leaks
Check nearby trees for broken limbs
Avoid using alternate sources for electricity, heating, or cooking that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning
Matt Holiner covers weather and climate across the Midwest. Matt has eight years of professional meteorology experience and has forecast every type of weather for cities across the country. He holds the National Weather Association's Seal of Approval.