The next storm system is set to impact the state of Iowa starting today.
A warm front sitting across northern Missouri will be the main factor contributing to the severe weather potential this evening. As of this morning the warm front is struggling to move to the north, keeping much of central Iowa cloudy and cooler. Should this warm front stay put, cloud cover will inhibit the amount of warming over central Iowa, thus reducing the chance for strong storms to form. On the flip side there is still a chance that this warm front will move north throughout the afternoon and clear some of the clouds across central and southern Iowa. Ample sunshine allows for the atmosphere to warm up and gain energy for storms to form later.
There is currently a slight to enhanced risk for severe weather in place across central and southern Iowa, meaning scattered to numerous strong to severe storms are possible.
The Storm Prediction Center highlights a 10% chance of tornadoes over far SW Iowa with a 30% chance of hail over SW and south central Iowa.
Timing: 5-9 PM is going to be the best chance for storms to form and be severe across the southern and southwestern part of the state. After 9 PM these storms will lose a lot of energy due to loss of warm air after sunset. Showers and weak thunderstorms are then possible through the rest of the night as the push north with the warm front.
Much colder air will follow for the weekend. Light to moderate rain is possible at times in central Iowa early Saturday, but by the afternoon this will change over to a rain/snow mix. Parts of northern Iowa have the highest chance of seeing measurable snowfall over the weekend. Kossuth county and far northwest Iowa are included in a Blizzard Warning for Saturday. 5-8″ of snow are possible in this area with a NE wind between 20-30 mph at times. Pocahontas, Calhoun, Humboldt, Webster, Wright, and Carroll county are all included in the current Winter Storm Watch. This area will likely either upgrade to a Blizzard Warning, Winter Weather Advisory, or Winter Storm Warning later this afternoon. This area is expected to get 3-5″ of snow with strong wind creating low visibility and blowing snow.
By late Saturday afternoon rain will change over to a rain/snow mix and eventually snow over central and southern Iowa. Snow totals are expected to be between 1-3″ along I-80 in western Iowa up to where watches are currently in place. For those over central and southern Iowa, much of this snow will likely melt as it reaches the ground, but a refreeze is still possible on roadways by early Sunday morning.
Snow will begin to wrap up by sunrise on Sunday with a drier, but cold and windy afternoon ahead.