Wind chills of 40-below possible with approaching snowstorm

MASON CITY — This week will end much as it started, with a whopper snowstorm. Forecasters say a Winter Storm Warning is posted for 98 of Iowa’s 99 counties from tonight through tomorrow night, with near-blizzard conditions likely. National Weather Service meteorologist Kristi Carter says it’ll be another doozy.

“Our snow amounts for much of central Iowa are going to range from around five to 10 inches,” Carter says, “and that is also going to be combined with on Friday afternoon into early Saturday, winds that are going to be gusting over 40 miles an hour.”

While the snowstorm that ran Monday into Tuesday dropped up to 15 inches of heavy, wet snow in parts of the state, she says this approaching storm will produce a lighter type of snowflake.

“That snow is going to be very fluffy and blowable,” Carter says, “and those gusty winds, we also already have snow on the ground from the storms we’ve had already this week, that’s going to lead to a significant blowing snow threat especially later Friday into Saturday.” That could mean white-out conditions and a very unsafe recipe for motorists, particularly if there’s icing on the roads.

She notes this next storm will be much colder than the one earlier in the week. “Temperatures will be falling into single digits by early Saturday,” Carter says. “Our wind chills are going to be falling well below zero tomorrow night into Saturday, and then will continue to fall Saturday night into Sunday with wind chills of negative-20 to around negative-40.”

The forecast calls for the -high- temperatures on Sunday to only be in the negative single digits, with lows approaching 20-below. Our furnaces will be working overtime as it doesn’t appear that there will be much of a change for days.

“We are looking at a small warm-up towards the middle of the week, around the Wednesday timeframe, where we’re looking at temperatures that start to reach the teens again,” Carter says, “so that’s at least better than the single digits but certainly looking pretty cold through the week.”

Keep up with the changing forecast at weather.gov and stay informed about road conditions by visiting 511ia.org.