Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Storm: Dec. 23-25 Update #2

A mix of sleet, snow, and freezing rain has fallen today across the plains states.  Areas are now seeing some moderate to heavy snow across northern Iowa and adjacent areas, creating hazardous travel conditions already.  The latest Iowa road conditions indicate that there are roads in north-central Iowa that are completely covered, thus no travel is being advised.  These roads include I-35 from roughly highway 3 northward to the IA/MN border, along with several other major highways in that area.

I did some travel earlier this afternoon, and while most major highways had been graveled/salted to create just wet conditions many of the other county roads were ice/sleet covered.  With moderate snowfall the past hour or two, all of the roads are now becoming covered and thus becoming slick.  The map below shows the latest Iowa road conditions, otherwise check out the website for additional details:  Iowa Road Conditions

The latest NAM forecast run from this afternoon (18z) continues the trend of widespread 18+ inches of snowfall across the northern plains.  Perhaps just a slight eastern movement of the heaviest axis, with the low pressure system over eastern Kansas and continuing to gain strength this afternoon and should continue to do so through the day tomorrow.  The latest water vapor imagery does not indicate any dry punch with this low, thus expect widespread snow to continue unabated through the evening and overnight hours.  Later updates may hopefully have some of the snowfall reports from around the region.