Heavy snow begins to spread east across Iowa Tuesday

Plan on heavy snow to arrive this afternoon.
Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 9:32 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The snow is already falling in parts of Iowa causing road conditions to deteriorate.

Snow plows are already out working on the roads in Des Moines and points further west.

Snow will continue spreading east across the state falling heavily throughout the afternoon. Expect travel conditions to deteriorate quickly in eastern Iowa as well. Forecasters said roads will likely become slick and snow-covered in less than 30 minutes.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for most of the southeast two-thirds of the state of Iowa. In the KCRG-TV9 viewing area, this includes every county, except Davis in far southern Iowa. Davis County is included in a Winter Weather Advisory.

The main threat with this winter storm is heavy snowfall, which could amount to between 4 and 8 inches over a broad swath of the state. Mixed precipitation, including freezing rain, will lead to lesser snowfall totals but the potential for a tenth or two of ice accumulation.

Forecast snowfall totals for a winter storm that begins on Tuesday, Dec. 29, and lasts through...
Forecast snowfall totals for a winter storm that begins on Tuesday, Dec. 29, and lasts through early Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020.(KCRG)

“The potential intensity of the rate of falling snow during this storm will be a big source of problems,” TV9 Meteorologist Corey Thompson said. “It could accumulate at 1 inch per hour or more, which will lead to road conditions becoming pretty bad, pretty fast.”

The timing of the initial push of precipitation in the afternoon on Tuesday will set up a troublesome evening commute for most of eastern Iowa, Thompson said. Heavy snowfall rates during the time people are trying to head home from work.

“If you have to drive on Tuesday evening, I would stay home once you get there,” Thompson said.

The snowfall has already started in Nebraska and will continue into and across Iowa over the course of the day.

It's not taking long at all for roads to get nasty around Des Moines. The snow rates have been something we've been...

Posted by KCRG-TV9 on Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Some of the precipitation will mix with freezing rain or sleet south of Highway 30 on Tuesday night into early Wednesday, causing additional travel issues.

Precipitation should end on Wednesday morning, with road conditions continuing to improve through the day. The Iowa Department of Transportation said it will have around 300 plows out, with about 50 of those working around the Cedar Rapids metro area.

TV9 Meteorologist Kaj O’Mara said we should get a break from the weather Wednesday and Thursday, with the next system coming into the area with a mix of rain and snow by Friday.

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