Don’t put your sleds and shovels away just yet.
Just when you thought winter might have gasped its last breath, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Watch this morning to go into effect Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning. A Winter Storm Watch means there is the potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.
An intensifying low pressure system in the southwestern United States is expected to move northeast into Iowa during the day Tuesday. Forecasters believe there is a significant chance of rain changing over to snow across Central Iowa.
Due to the evolving nature of the system, forecasters cannot determine where the heaviest snowfall will occur with this storm.
Rain during the day Tuesday is expected to change over to snow across Central Iowa sometime Tuesday evening. The snowfall will persist throughout the overnight hours, resulting in accumulations of 4 to 6 inches by Wednesday morning.
Winds also will increase during the overnight with sustained winds of 20 to 25 mph and gusts as high as 35 mph, which will reduce visibilities and create significant drifting of snow.
A particular concern with this storm will be during the transition from rain to snow and accumulations that may occur on tree branches and power lines. Additionally, warm ground temperatures will allow for initial melting and refreeze, which could create icy travel conditions.