DES MOINES, Iowa — While the snow wraps up, travel issues will persist through Thursday and Friday as winds ramp up and temperatures plummet.
About 2-5″ of snow has fallen across the state. We won’t see a whole lot of additional snow through the day today. However, winds will increase, gusting to 40-45 mph and near 50 mph by the overnight hours and into Friday. This will cause blowing and drifting snow on area roads, especially in rural areas. Near white out conditions will also be possible.
Because of that, a Blizzard Warning is in effect for northern and central Iowa from noon Thursday to 6AM Saturday. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for all of central Iowa until 6AM Saturday. The exact warning a location is under will not necessarily matter; blizzard conditions are likely across the state, causing very challenging travel conditions.
In addition to the wind, it will be brutally cold. Wind chills fall to -30 to -40° below zero. This will make it very dangerous for those who manage to get stuck or stranded because of road conditions. The cold persists through at least Saturday morning, with air temperatures staying below zero and wind chills in the -20 to -40° range.
Saturday looks to be the timeframe when travel conditions may begin to improve. Temperatures rise to the teens by Christmas Day, when another, more minor, weather system looks to move in. Warmer weather arrives midweek next week.