Friday, February 15, 2008

Weekend Winter Weather!

Winter weather isn't going to let up yet, as once again another low pressure system is going to take aim at the state for the weekend. The low is expected to track just south and east of the state, actually putting portion of the state in the perfect position for winter weather. Temperatures are expected to be near freezing for a good portion of the state, meaning that the precip over the weekend may not fall as all snow. In fact, current forecasts indicate that the event may start out as a significant freezing rain event and then finally some snowfall.

Trends with some models have been pushing this system to the north and west with each model run, but with the system not completely onshore yet the models likely don't have all of the data that they need. No watches or advisories have been issued at the moment, these won't likely come out until Saturday morning as the event nears within 24 hours and the models will hopefully be coming to a final solution. Currently, NWS forecast offices have put areas of eastern Iowa extending into western Illinios and Wisconsin in a favorable position to receive signficant snowfall accumulations as well as potentially significant ice accumulations.

The mix of freezing rain and snow should start over southern Iowa after midnight (early Sunday morning) and continue to move northeast into the state during the morning hours. The morning and afternoon hours would likely be the worst times for the eastern third of the state, especially southeastern Iowa. Central Iowa is currently borderline with this system, however mainly snow is expected for this area. Total amounts would be less than 5 inches, however this amount is an early estimate. Maximum totals of snowfall for some areas of eastern Iowa may exceed 8 inches however depending on the switch-over from freezing rain to snow.

Anybody travelling this weekend should keep a very close eye on this system, as travellers for Sunday and even Monday will likely be hampered by the snow and ice. Another quick update on this system may occur Saturday morning if time is available.