DES MOINES, Iowa — A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for most of central Iowa from noon Monday until 3 PM on Tuesday. At 3 PM, a Winter Storm Warning takes effect.
The southern tier of Iowa counties are under a Winter Weather Advisory from 9 AM Monday until Noon Tuesday; this is the area that will see a chance for not only snow, but also freezing drizzle/sleet.
Current Weather Synopsis:
Monday morning will be dry as the low develops overnight in Eastern Colorado, briefly pushes into Oklahoma early Monday and then lifts up into Missouri by the late morning/early afternoon.
Most of the noon hour will be dry across Iowa, but between 1 and 2 PM a freezing drizzle/sleet/snow mix will start to push into far SW Iowa. The warm front will cause freezing rain and sleet to move into southern Iowa, but the colder air on the north side of the low will cause snow to expand across western and central Iowa. The heaviest snow is expected to fall between 4 and 9 PM on Monday. Lighter snow will continue overnight as the low pushes northeast into Illinois. The highest totals will set up over north central and NE Iowa, SE Minnesota, and SW Wisconsin.
Still Some Uncertainty
Over the past 18 hours this system has been shifting south. Because of this, there is still some uncertainty in where the heaviest amounts of snow will set up, and how far north the freezing rain/sleet will fall as this typically cuts down snowfall amounts.
If this system continues to move south, the higher amounts of snow will set up over parts of northern and central Iowa.
If it takes a shift toward the north, parts of central Iowa could end up with less snow and more freezing rain/sleet.
This all depends on what’s happening at the low and mid levels of the atmosphere.
Not only will we deal with this uncertainty in precipitation type, but there will also be areas of stronger lift that will cause isolated higher amounts of snowfall in the areas that see mainly snow. These areas have always been near impossible to detect ahead of time.
The Monday evening commute will experience the worst part of this storm. Roads along and north of I-80 will become snow covered between 4 and 5 PM with the heaviest snow falling until 9 PM.
If the center of the low pushes into central Missouri on Monday, Northern Iowa can expect 7-10″ of snow will isolated higher amounts
Central Iowa can expect 4-7″ of snow with isolated higher amounts
Southern Iowa can expect 1-4″ of snow and a light glazing of ice thanks to freezing ran/sleet during the late afternoon and evening.