AMES, Iowa – Feb. 21, 2013: 5 p.m. update – Iowa travel conditions are rapidly deteriorating in many areas of the state due to the advancing winter storm. Light to moderate snow continues to fall over southern and central Iowa, but an intensification of the storm is expected in the next few hours. A strong east wind is reducing visibility to one-quarter to one-half mile, especially in open areas. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s road condition report is listing most roads in southwest and south central Iowa as partially to mostly covered. For southeast Iowa, a break in the snow is expected to be short-lived as more snow is on its way. Iowa DOT road conditions in this quadrant of the state are shown as completely covered. For traveler information anytime, visit www.511ia.org, call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide).
…A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST FRIDAY…
* SHORT TERM TRENDS...MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON HOURS BEFORE BECOMING LIGHTER BY THIS EVENING. THE HEAVIEST ACCUMULATIONS WILL OCCUR THROUGH 6 PM CST TODAY. THE LIGHT SNOW IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE OVERNIGHT TONIGHT INTO THE EARLY MORNING HOURS FRIDAY BEFORE TAPERING OFF MID MORNING FRIDAY.
* STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATIONS WILL RANGE FROM 6 TO 9 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.
* WINDS/VISIBILITY...EASTERLY WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUST NEAR 35 MPH WILL LEAD TO VISIBILITY OF LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE AT TIMES THROUGH THE EARLY EVENING. SNOWFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR CAN BE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON. THE STRONG WINDS WILL SLOWLY DIMINISH LATER THIS EVENING.
* IMPACTS...THE COMBINATION OF THE HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS WILL CAUSE VISIBILITY OF LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE AT TIMES AND VERY HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS DUE TO ICY AND SNOW PACKED ROADS.
PERCIVAL, Iowa (AP) – Some motels are filling up ahead of a snowstorm that threatens to dump to a foot of snow in some parts of Iowa. Krista Tillman is manager of the Super 8 motel near Percival, just off Interstate 29 in the southwest corner of Iowa. Tillman said the snow had been falling for about 90 minutes but she’d rented out about 30 of her motel’s 45 rooms in the last 60 minutes. She expects to be sold out by 2 p.m., if not sooner.
A desk clerk at the nearby Americas Best Value Inn echoed Tillman, saying he expected his 80 rooms would be gone within a couple of hours.
The Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared,” but it’s a slogan all Iowans would be wise to adopt as a major winter storm is about the whack the state. Liz Dorland, spokeswoman for the Red Cross chapter in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says all motorists should have an emergency kit in their vehicles, especially when a travel advisory is issued — like today. Dorland says the kit should include: blankets, clothing, waterproof boots, socks, hats, gloves and sand or non-clumping kitty litter for traction. You might also toss in a shovel.
Iowans who are staying at home would be smart to have another emergency kit assembled for the house, including many of the items in the vehicle’s kit. “Make sure you have extra food, bottled water, flashlights, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio would be great to have,” she says. Also, make sure to have a cell phone charger handy.
She says the agency is ready to open emergency shelters across Iowa in case of power outages or other emergencies as the storm nears.
Much of Iowa is under a Winter Storm Warning and by this afternoon, much of the state will also be under a half-foot of snow, with some areas expecting much more. National Weather Service meteorologist Miles Schumacher says the storm will arrive in southwest Iowa later this morning. Schumacher’s estimate for snowfall in inches: “Six to nine will be pretty common across the state, a little less in the far northwest, maybe three or four inches,” he says.
The Iowa DOT has issued a travel advisory as strong winds may whip up the snow and cause white-out conditions and deep drifts. At the peak of the storm this afternoon, snow may fall at the rate of two inches an hour. Schumacher says a second storm system is developing. “We’re watching another one and it could bring another significant round of snow to the state, either Monday or Tuesday, as it comes through,” he says. “It has quite a lot of similarities to this one. On the plus side, we definitely need the moisture so it’s good we’re getting at least something.”
Forecasters say today’s snow will start in southwest Iowa a bit later this morning, it should reach central Iowa by midday and eastern Iowa later in the afternoon.
A strong winter storm is forecast to lift from northeast New Mexico northeastward across the central US later this afternoon into Friday.
A band of moderate to heavy snow developing ahead of the low pressure system will spread across the state today into this evening. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour can be expected during the late afternoon and evening hours, with much of the expected snowfall expected snowfall to occur in six hours or less. Strong east winds at 15 to 25 mph with higher gusts to around 30 mph are also expected. The winds will combine with the heavy snowfall to create widespread visibility of less than one quarter of a mile by later this afternoon into the evening. Dangerous travel conditions are expected this afternoon through much of tonight. The storms will likely have a significant impact on rush hour traffic.
A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO NOON CST FRIDAY
* TIMING…SNOW WILL DEVELOP OVER THE SOUTHERN THIRD OF IOWA AROUND NOON TODAY. THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL WILL DEVELOP QUICKLY AFTER ONSET AND LAST FOR AROUND SIX HOURS BEFORE DIMINISHING SOMEWHAT THIS EVENING. LIGHT SNOW WILL STILL PERSIST INTO FRIDAY HOWEVER BEFORE COMING TO AN END ALTOGETHER LATER IN THE DAY.
* STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS…SNOW ACCUMULATIONS WILL RANGE FROM 6 TO 9 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE.
* WINDS/VISIBILITY...EASTERLY WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 15 TO 25 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS BY LATE THIS AFTERNOON…THEN DIMINISH LATER TONIGHT. SNOWFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR COINCIDENT WITH THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL REDUCE VISIBILITY TO ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS FOR SEVERAL HOURS.
* IMPACTS...CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE VERY RAPIDLY AS THE SNOW MOVES IN THIS AFTERNOON. AT THE ONSET…VISIBILITY OF LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE AT TIMES CAN BE EXPECTED. TRAVEL WILL BECOME HAZARDOUS DUE TO POOR VISIBILITY AND THE ROADS RAPIDLY BECOMING ICY AND SNOW PACKED.
A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST…COMBINED WITH BLOWING SNOW…THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…FOOD… AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
**WINTER STORM WARNING FROM NOON TODAY THROUGH NOON FRIDAY**
Today: A chance of snow between 9am and noon, then snow with areas of blowing snow after noon. High near 23. Wind chill values as low as zero. Breezy, with a east wind 14 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Tonight: Snow with areas of blowing snow before 3am, then snow likely after 3am. Low around 20. Wind chill values as low as 5. Blustery, with a east northeast wind 7 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
Friday: A 20 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 26. Wind chill values as low as 10. North wind 7 to 14 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.
Friday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 7. Wind chill values as low as zero. West wind 6 to 9 mph.
Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 29. South southwest wind 6 to 10 mph.
Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16.
Sunday: A 20 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 34.
Sunday Night: A 50 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26.
Monday: A 50 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 33.
402 PM CST WED FEB 20 2013
…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON THURSDAY TO NOON CST FRIDAY…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN OMAHA/VALLEY HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON THURSDAY TO NOON CST FRIDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
* TIMING…SNOW IS EXPECTED TO SPREAD INTO THE AREA LATE THURSDAY MORNING OR EARLY THURSDAY AFTERNOON…WITH THE HEAVIEST SNOW FALLING DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING COMMUTE. LIGHT SNOW IS LIKELY THROUGH EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.
* ACCUMULATIONS...TOTAL SNOWFALL FROM 6 TO 9 INCHES IS FORECAST.
* WINDS…EAST WINDS OF 15 TO 25 MPH COULD CREATE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW ON EARLY THURSDAY AFTERNOON…BUT WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO DECREASE THURSDAY EVENING LEADING TO LESS BLOWING SNOW. THE BLOWING SNOW IS MOST LIKELY IN OPEN AREAS.
* IMPACTS...TRAVEL COULD BECOME DIFFICULT DUE TO HEAVY FALLING SNOW…ESPECIALLY THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND THURSDAY NIGHT.
A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL…KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT…FOOD…AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.
342 PM CST WED FEB 20 2013
…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON THURSDAY TO NOON CST FRIDAY…
TONIGHT…CLOUDY. NOT AS COLD. LOW 15 TO 20. EAST WIND 10 TO 15 MPH.
THURSDAY…A CHANCE OF SNOW BEFORE NOON. SNOW IN THE AFTERNOON. BLOWING SNOW IN THE AFTERNOON. BREEZY. SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 4 TO 5 INCHES. HIGH IN THE MID 20S. EAST WIND 15 TO 20 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. CHANCE OF SNOW NEAR 100 PERCENT.
THURSDAY NIGHT…BLOWING SNOW THROUGH MIDNIGHT. SNOW. SNOW ACCUMULATION AROUND 4 INCHES. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATION 8 TO 9 INCHES. LOW 15 TO 20. NORTHEAST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH THROUGH MIDNIGHT. CHANCE OF SNOW NEAR 100 PERCENT.
FRIDAY…CLOUDY WITH A 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF LIGHT SNOW. HIGH IN THE MID 20S. NORTHWEST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.
FRIDAY NIGHT…CLOUDY. LOW AROUND 10. WEST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
SATURDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 20S.
SATURDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW 15 TO 20.
SUNDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY. HIGH IN THE MID 30S.