Yet another winter weather event is pegged to impact portions of northern Iowa from early Sunday through early Monday. Current surface analysis continues to show a broad area of high pressure keeping control over the Upper Midwest today. This will get pushed off farther to the east tonight as a low pressure system approaches the Northern Plains from the west, accompanied a warm front south of the low. Winds aloft shift southerly ahead of the low at 35-45 knots, leading to a windy day on Sunday.
High pressure should keep dry air over the region until early Sunday morning. Cloud cover will be on the increase tonight before moisture finally arrives tomorrow morning alongside an accelerating low-level jet, kicking off snowfall over western Iowa. The heaviest snow will not fall until the later morning to afternoon hours Sunday when the best forcing exists. Those with travel plans on Sunday evening or night should prepare to make appropriate adjustments if needed. An “intense,” short-duration snowfall is not expected – moreso along the lines of a long-duration light-to-moderate snowfall, perhaps with an inch or two every six hours. Light snow will continue until the morning hours on Monday, with a brief lull in the action possible late Sunday evening.
High confidence exists in regards to accumulations with a general consensus being seen between models, the weather service, and media. Winter storm watches were upgraded to advisories for much of the state where over three inches are expected. The heaviest accumulations are expected from northwest and north central Iowa through parts of northeast and east central Iowa. Four-to-seven inches is expected there, including Mason City and Waterloo. We have clipped some of the eastward extent of this from last night’s post, and may see this trend continue with Waterloo being on the lower edge of the totals.
I do not expect too much of a large impact with this event, primarily with it being 50% during the weekend. Snow will be light-falling in nature, and while it may be windy, should not see too much in terms of visibility reductions. Much of it will probably melt upon contact with relatively warm road temperatures. While four-to-seven inches is forecasted, this probably will be much less when factoring that in. The Monday morning commute may see light impacts, but again, this is hampered by the lightness of the snow, and the fact that the worst impacts will not be seen in any of our metro areas.
Stay tuned to the Iowa Weather Network for the latest information!