As of 8 a.m. this morning, the National Weather Service office in Johnston was still warning the public about a dangerous winter storm — dubbed “Winter Storm Q” by The Weather Channel — which is expected to bring several inches of snow to Jasper County.
The storm is expected to impact Central Iowa late this afternoon, or by early evening. But, by morning, more than 5 inches of snowfall is forecast to fall. At the onset of the storm, which will move from southwest to northeast through the center of the state, strong easterly winds will create dangerous conditions outside.
Low pressure systems, which most frequently generate strong winter storms like “Q,” rotate in a counter-clockwise manner. Winds blow in the direction of rotation, relative to the center of the low.
When the low is to one’s southwest, straight-line winds will come out of the southeast and east as the storm approaches. Wind strength is usually proportional to the intensity of the low pressure system.
The northeast and east sides of low pressure systems are generally the area of greatest precipitation.
Coupled with strong easterly winds, as Lois pointed out, it can create a very dangerous situation.
“Q” won’t be the end of winter, either. Forecasters in Johnston say another storm with the probability of adding even more snow on Central Iowa will impact the region Sunday night through Monday night.
Although precipitation forecasts generally aren’t made until the final 24 to 36 hours before the onset of a storm, forecasts say it is highly probable the second storm will produce at least a few inches of additional accumulation.