Influential winter storm with heavy snow makes travel difficult


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – The first and most significant storm of the winter season is approaching. A winter storm warning is in effect for the entire KCRG-TV9 viewing area until Tuesday evening. This was announced by the National Weather Service due to the risk of heavy snow and strong gusts of wind.

Current NWS Winter Weather Warnings

Current winter weather warnings from the National Weather Service.
(KCRG)

Latest scans from pinpoint doppler radar

Latest scans from pinpoint Doppler radar.
(KCRG)

The snow will continue into the night, with moderate to heavy snowfall at times. The time of day when the heaviest snow is most likely to fall is from about 2 a.m. to about 7 a.m., when snow accumulation rates can reach 1 to 2 inches per hour. Thunder and snow may occur in some areas during this time, so rumbling sounds may be heard. Or you hear thunder or see lightning. It also makes your Tuesday morning commute extremely tedious. People who plan to travel to work or other locations during that time plan a slower, longer drive. Many schools canceled classes for Tuesday. The latest delay cancellation status can be found at https://www.kcrg.com/weather/closes/.

More snow is possible in the region Tuesday into Tuesday evening, although there may be periods during this time when the snow intensity eases a bit. Still, not only will travel conditions continue to deteriorate, but enough downfall is expected to add to the total. This comes at the same time that winds could actually increase as the storm system strengthens and passes near the state, with gusts of more than 30 to 40 mph possible by Tuesday afternoon and evening. This can lead to snowstorms and blowing snow, which can further impact visibility in areas with falling or blowing snow. For the latest road conditions across Iowa, visit https://www.kcrg.com/page/road-conditions/.

Precipitation will taper off by mid-to-late Tuesday evening, but winds are expected to remain strong into Tuesday night. By Wednesday, these conditions will ease and travel conditions will begin to improve. However, some roads may still be covered in snow during Wednesday morning’s commute, so plan for potential disruption.

This is the predicted snowfall amount from January 8th (Monday) to January 9th (Tuesday), 2024.
This is the predicted snowfall amount from January 8th (Monday) to January 9th (Tuesday), 2024.(KCRG)

Snowfall totals will range from 5 inches to 10 inches across eastern Iowa. It could be a little higher than that in some places, but the wet, heavy nature of the snow will likely keep totals within that range for most areas. But that also means moving and clearing snow is harder than you would normally expect. Avoid excessive exercise and take breaks during Shaving Tuesday, especially if you have a pre-existing condition such as heart disease.

Power outages are also possible due to damaged tree limbs and stronger winds Tuesday. Make sure you know where you have flashlights and candles in your home in case an outbreak occurs in your neighborhood.

Travel plans should be adjusted for the winter storm and it is generally recommended to avoid road travel until Tuesday evening if possible. If you must travel for work, travel slowly and allow plenty of time to reach your destination. Turn on your headlights at all times to make your vehicle more visible to others. Also, keep enough distance from the vehicle in front of you, and brake early at intersections with traffic lights or stop signs.

Here are some recommended items to have in your car this winter.
Here are some recommended items to have in your car this winter.(KCRG)

There will be a breather in the active weather pattern Wednesday, but another quick disruption could bring snow into the region Wednesday night into Thursday. This system won’t have the potential for as much snow as the system earlier in the week, but it could bring more light snow to the area and make roads slippery for a period of time again.

Another more impactful storm system is possible towards the end of the work week. This could follow a similar path to the storm earlier in the week, bringing another round of snow. However, this storm is still days away and its path could be influenced by system-wide outcomes early in the week. We will be monitoring it closely, but Friday through Friday night is also a time when you should consider the potential impact on your plans.

Deeper snowpack accumulates and the final impact of multiple storm systems moving through an active weather pattern causes shots of cold air to accumulate behind each. Highs behind the system at the beginning of the week will be in the 20s by midweek, falling toward the 10s by the beginning of the weekend, and only single digits above zero by the beginning of next week. The lows will follow a similar path and fall below zero by the end of the week. Wind chill issues are also likely to occur during this time of year, so be sure to pack appropriate winter clothing for that time of year. You can download our weather app to track more sows and the arrival of cold weather: https://www.kcrg.com/page/download-our-app/



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