A powerful winter storm will impact the region later today and last into Friday night. A significant multifaceted event is expected, including the potential for concurrent blizzard conditions and extreme cold. Travel could be dangerous to near impossible at times Thursday and Friday. Extreme cold is expected as well with wind chills falling to 20 to 40 below zero from late Thursday through the end of the week.
Those with holiday travel planned later today through Friday night are strongly encouraged to pay close attention to forecast updates and road conditions, and prepare accordingly if travel is a must. Altering travel plans, if possible, is strongly encouraged.
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 6 AM CST SATURDAY…
* WHAT…Snow will begin midday into the afternoon today and continue intermittently through early Thursday. Winds will also increase Thursday and continue into Friday night when blizzard conditions are possible. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches, with locally higher amounts possible. Wind gusts of 40 to 50 mph or greater may occur late Thursday through Friday. Extreme cold and wind chills of 20 to 40 below will be common.
* WHERE…North-central and western Iowa.
* WHEN…From noon today through 6 AM CST Saturday.
* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery and snow covered roads. Areas of blowing snow and possible blizzard conditions will significantly reduce visibility. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. The dangerously cold wind chills as low as 40 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…It needs to be emphasized that the concurrence of blowing snow, possible blizzard conditions, and extreme cold will be very hazardous and possibly life threatening if stranded outside.
If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
For the latest travel conditions, check the Iowa 511 app, www.511ia.org, or dial 511.