DES MOINES, Iowa –A strong storm system looks to make travel difficult over the weekend. There will be a chance for rain and snow. Rain may freeze on the roadways, creating slick conditions Friday night into Saturday. There will also be a change over from rain to snow and that looks to move through late Saturday into Sunday. A Winter Storm Warning will be in effect Saturday evening through Sunday evening.
First and foremost:
With a system like this, there is always a level of uncertainty. That
uncertainty looks to focus right over central Iowa, meaning there will be a chance for rain and then a change over to snow. The exact placement of this rain/snow changeover is nearly impossible to predict, so those in central Iowa should prepare for freezing rain that will cause icy roads and snow which could cause a halt on the roadways due to extreme wind.
Friday will start off dry and sunny with temperatures reaching the low to mid 30s by the afternoon. The morning and afternoon commutes look dry, but the weather gets dicey from there. Cloud cover will increase quickly by the evening and there will be a chance for freezing drizzle by the early evening. This will continue into the overnight so roads may become slick by early Saturday morning. Saturdays temperatures will rise into the mid 30s, meaning light rain will be possible throughout the morning and afternoon. Saturday evening into Sunday morning will be when the worst conditions occur. Rain will continue over eastern Iowa, but rain is expected to change over to snow by the middle of the evening in central and western Iowa. Right before the changeover to snow, there is a chance for thunderstorms along the I-35 corridor. There will be a tremendous amount of lift, which means there is also a potential for convection within the snow…aka ‘thundersnow’. This heavy snow will be accompanied by strong wind throughout the overnight, creating incredibly low visibility.
Snow totals are going to be one of the toughest parts to nail down, but what you should focus on most are the impacts. No matter what there will be rain and snow with this system. Rain will cause slick conditions and snow and wind will cause low visibility and treacherous travel conditions. The worst travel conditions will be Saturday evening through Sunday.