A storm system that we have been watching for several days now will move through the region starting today and going through Friday. This will bring a cold front that will zoom across the state from west to east with accumulating snow and gusty winds within it. So read on for the details and the full model image suite…
The system will start with snow continuing to increase across northwest Iowa this morning and this activity quickly pressing east into central and eastern Iowa by this afternoon/evening. Once the frontal zone passes, strong northwest winds will increase later this evening across western Iowa with wind gusts starting 30-40 MPH and this expanding into central and eastern Iowa overnight into Thursday morning. Heavy snowfall expected late tonight through early Thursday morning with snowfall rates of 0.5-1.0″ per hour for a time in the deformation zone stretching from southwest through central and into northeast Iowa. This activity will quickly taper off across western Iowa before daybreak Thursday and central Iowa as soon as Thursday morning with eastern Iowa by Thursday afternoon. Once late Thursday night hits, the wind will increase further with gusts 40-50 MPH through your Friday leading to blowing of snow and near white-out conditions at times, especially in rural locations. The intense winds will subside late Friday night into early Saturday morning.
Cold temperatures will filter into Iowa late tonight through Thursday morning with wind chill values 30-40 below across west and central Iowa and 10-20 below into extreme eastern Iowa. As previously stated in the article from Dec. 16th, the high will maximize on Friday which will send all of Iowa into wind chill values of 35-50 below by Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.
I have cut down snowfall amounts to warrant a quick frontal zone passage but still expect a decent swath of accumulation with the system. As I mentioned before, it will not take very much snow to cause issues with the wind gusts mentioned above. The southwest, central and northeast part of Iowa will be prone to the highest totals within the deformation zone before the system lifts east of the state by the holiday weekend.
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