Monday, January 1, 2007

New Year’s Eve Snowstorm

The potential winter storm for the northern plains was forecasted well in advance, but for Iowa and even Minnesota it was looking to be mainly a rain event. This was true, all up until Sunday when the low pressure system strengthened and pulled in colder air much quicker than the early forecasts had predicted. This cold air along with abundant moisture that was still in place over the area allowed for a nice snow band to move over portions of northern Iowa and into southcentral Minnesota. Models began to pick up on this during Friday nights’ runs and continued this through the day on Saturday. This prompted several of the NWS offices covering the areas likely to be affected to issue statements about the potential for snowfall and at least increase the forecasted snow amounts. By Sunday morning the switch over to snow had began to occur over northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota and quickly began to accumulate. This continued during the afternoon hours and into the early evening for northwest Iowa, southcentral Minnesota had snow falling into the early nighttime hours.

Total snow accumulations were hard to measure, as winds from the north quickly blew the snow around into several feet high drifts over roadways and even open country. This made for treacherous driving conditions over much of the area and caused several accidents in Iowa and surrounding states. Total snowfall amounts were heaviest in a small band in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota, for complete snowfall reports there are a couple of links below…

Sioux Falls, SD NWS Report

Des Moines, IA NWS Snowfall Image/Summary

Minneapolis, MN NWS Snowfall Totals Image