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Changes coming in how winter storm warnings are issued to Iowans

News, Weather

November 16th, 2023 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) – Even though temperatures are in the 50s and 60s today (Thursday), there will be a time down the road, perhaps soon, when snow arrives in Iowa — and lots of it. Meteorologist Chad Hahn, at the National Weather Service in Johnston, says they’re launching new guidelines which stipulate how winter storm watches and warnings are issued, based on the amount of snow that’s predicted to fall.

For Iowa and all points north, Hahn says it’ll be six inches or more of snow, but as you go south, that criteria decreases to account for climatological differences. Hahn says the changes won’t be all that noticeable for the winter storm forecasts that are being issued in Iowa.

The old system used time restraints, so much snow over so many hours, and he says now, it’ll simply zero in on a winter event.