A Winter Storm Warning goes into effect at 9 AM Tuesday for much of Central Iowa and a Winter Weather Advisory begins at the same time for far North Central Iowa as a strong storm system lifts northeast toward Iowa bringing deteriorating conditions Tuesday.
Snow will begin to spread over Central Iowa through mid-morning. Heavier snowfall rates will kick in by noon with accumulations quickly piling up. Travel will be very difficult, especially during commute hours as roads become clogged with people trying to return from work on yet unplowed, or partially plowed roads.
Warmer air will start to lift in from the south, up and over the cold air at the surface during the late evening and overnight hours. This may lead to precipitation transition to sleet, freezing rain and even rain across Southern and Southeast Iowa, as well as possibly up to the Des Moines Metro. The roads may be slick with both snow from Tuesday and icy conditions on top of that from the early morning precipitation.
To wrap up the storm on Wednesday, temperatures will suddenly turn colder with the passage of a cold front and this will lead to a quick transition back to some quick snow briefly Wednesday morning.
There will be a big difference in totals across the state based on where and when a transition to warmer air takes over on Tuesday night through early Wednesday morning. Totals will be around 6 to 8 inches throughout much of Central and Eastern Iowa, with isolated 10″ totals possible. Those along and south of I-80 will see a better chance for a transition to freezing rain and sleet. The transition to more freezing rain and sleet instead of snow will really cut snowfall totals down where that happens, particularly south of Highway 34.
Ice will also be a concern especially in southern Iowa. Temperatures may rise enough in the evening and late night hours to lead to freezing rain and sleet. Ice potential could make it’s way close to the Des Moines Metro, depending on how much of the colder air lifts north.
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