Blizzard conditions + brutal cold winds = staying home, staying safe

MASON CITY — Much of Iowa is under a Blizzard Warning and the Iowa State Patrol is posting photos taken this morning on its Facebook page of mangled cars on snow-packed roads to discourage motorists from venturing out.

With heavy snow falling and strong winds, many areas are seeing white-out conditions. National Weather Service meteorologist Kristy Carter says storms of this magnitude are fairly rare and usually only occur once or twice per decade.

“We’re already seeing plenty of blowing and drifting snow from what’s already fallen,” Carter says. “We’ve had rates around half an inch to an inch per hour at times through some of our stronger bands in central Iowa. So overall, conditions are pretty hazardous out there on the roadways with completely snow-covered roads.”

Schools and businesses across Iowa are closing by the dozens and many churches are already calling off their Sunday services. One Des Moines TV station has a closing list 266 items long. Carter says it’ll be a good weekend to stay home and stay safe.

“We are going to be looking at dangerous temperatures that are going to be following all the snow, blowing snow, as we get into the weekend and early next week,” Carter says. “We have wind chills as low as 45 below zero, so some of the early mornings — Sunday and Monday — it’s gonna be dangerously cold out there.”

Keep up with the changing forecast at