Don’t worry about the snow…worry about the wind!
December 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson
The National Weather Service in Des Moines says it seems like a lot of people are focusing only on the snow amounts with the storm system that is expected to hit Wednesday and Thursday. Officials say with the fresh snow pack, regardless of the amounts, wind gusts over 35 mph beginning early Thursday morning will create the potential for blizzard conditions throughout the day Thursday.
A Winter Storm Watch will be in effect beginning from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon for the KJAN listening area. The latest computer models show snowfall amounts will range from 5-to 8-inches across western Iowa, with some locations receiving up to 10-inches.
Of more concern to the Weather Service and Emergency Management Officials, is the winds. The Weather Service says winds will become very strong Wednesday nights from the north-to northwest, with sustained wind speeds of 20-to 30-miles per hour expected, along with occasional gusts to over 35. The strongest winds are expected at around daybreak, Thursday. Blizzard or near blizzard conditions are possible at that time, with visibilities reduced to less than one-quarter of a mile.
Very dangerous conditions are expected to develop Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Be prepared for very difficult travel and near blizzard conditions. Keep a weather radio handy, and if you plan on traveling, keep a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle. The weather service has a list of items you should keep in your kit, along with other tips on how to prepare and survive a Winter Storm in your home or vehicle, at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/?n=preparewintersafety.