Did You Hear It Might Snow on Thursday?

By Justin Gehrts, Meteorologist


By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - There has been quite a bit of chatter about the snowmaker that’s still on track to affect the region on Thursday into Friday.

There have also been quite a few rumors floating around about what’s going to happen, and we’ve taken a number of questions regarding them. Here’s a breakdown.

Is there going to be a snowstorm in the Midwest on Thursday?

Almost certainly! There’s almost no doubt that snow will be falling in the Midwest on Thursday, then tapering off into Friday.

What about here in eastern Iowa?

We’re very confident that we’ll have snow in eastern Iowa, as well.

How much are we going to get?

It’s still too early to start throwing out forecast accumulations.

But I heard that we’re supposed to get 12”/18”/20”/some other amount!

We’ve been hearing that, too. There are a couple problems with such early snowfall forecasts. First, there’s so much that can change between now and then. The low pressure system that will arrive here is still more than 2500 miles away, and the only data we’re getting from it is from satellites and maybe a few ships. Until it starts getting sampled by weather stations on land tomorrow morning. Second, snowfall forecasting is already complicated enough for systems that are happening within a couple of days, let alone the better part of a week away. To forecast such specifics – especially such high numbers – with any real confidence is impossible, and the only thing it does is create hype. We are not going to create hype; it doesn’t help anybody. It just produces rumors in a bad game of telephone.

So, when will you feel confident about how much we’re going to get?

We typically start getting more specific on snowfall totals a couple of days before an event. As always, we’ll tweak, adjust, and refine our snowfall forecast as the situation becomes clearer.

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