Flash Freeze Possible During Wednesday Evening Commute

Quiet weather continues to sit over Central Iowa for another day, but the weather may turn tricky into Wednesday. We will enjoy sunshine today and temperatures just at and above average in the mid to upper 30s this afternoon. High pressure is in control of our part of the country for now.

Wednesday, Iowa will become crunched between two more impactful weather systems.

System 1: There is a strong upper level low lifting out of the southwest US on Wednesday. This will bring heavy rain and snow across Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri and the northern edge of the precipitation shield and cloud cover may lift far enough to the southern and southeast counties of Iowa.

System 2: The second weather system is a strong arctic front that will quickly drop south out of Canada. This will bring some light rain to snow and a dramatic temperature drop of 15 to 20 degrees within one hour, dropping parts of Iowa from above freezing to below freezing fast.

Wednesday Weather Planner:
Wednesday will begin with partly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 30s. Clouds will stream in from the south and from the north. Warm air advection may lead to the development of rain across southern Iowa from noon on. Temperatures will rise to the upper 30s and low 40s through afternoon.

The arctic front will quickly be dropping south during the afternoon. This will lead to a 15 to 20 degree drop within the hour.

Data pix.

Here is when the temperature drop to below freezing is expected to happen for a few Central Iowa communities:

Fort Dodge: 3 PM
Carroll: 4 PM
Ames: 5 PM
Des Moines, Creston and Grinnell: 6 PM
Lamoni: 7 PM

There will also be a mix of rain, drizzle and then snow that will fall during the passage of the front. That in combination with the sudden drop could lead to a flash freeze on wet, slushy pavement.  It could be especially slick on untreated pavement, parking lots and sidewalks.

3 PM Wednesday

6 PM Wednesday

Thursday Extreme Cold:


An arctic high pressure center will place itself over Iowa early Thursday morning. Temperatures will drop below zero with strong northerly winds. The combination of the two will lead to dangerous wind chills from -15 to -20 below in Central and Southern Iowa and -20 to -30 below in Northern Iowa.

Weekend Rebound:
The cold will not last long. The pattern will shift to a more mild southerly flow. Clouds will increase and temperatures will return to the low 40s for daytime highs during the weekend.

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