Snow, Wind & Frigid Cold Temperatures Expected
By Justin Gehrts, Meteorologist
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A complex winter storm situation will be unfolding across our area this weekend into early next week. There will be three components: wind, snow, and bitter cold.
Strong northwest winds today will cause temperatures to remain in the single digits to lower teens for the afternoon. Patchy blowing snow will be an issue mainly north of Highway 20. Some re-freezing of roads is likely today because there was a bit of melting last night.
Snow will develop tonight, especially after midnight. That snow will continue until about the mid-morning hours, then become more scattered for the remainder of the day. Most of the snow accumulations will fall during the night. Snowfall totals of about two to four inches will be common roughly east of Highway 218, with lower amounts west. Areas that see the most snow will have the most issue with blowing snow. Because of this, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued through Sunday morning for portions of Eastern Iowa.
Winds will pick up from the northwest Sunday and become strong and gusty. Winds of 20 to 40 mph will be likely in the afternoon, lasting into the night. This will cause severe blowing and drifting snow. Expect some roads, especially in northeast Iowa where more of the snow falls, to become impassable. Reduced visibility will make travel difficult to at times impossible, especially in open areas. These conditions will continue into Sunday night. A blizzard and winter storm watch has been issued due to the extreme wind.
Arctic air will also be pouring into the region. Lows Sunday night will drop to near -15, and strong winds will make wind chills fall colder than -30. Highs on Monday and Tuesday are expected to stay below zero. This cold blast will be similar to the one that happened earlier this month.