Public Safety

Rain expected to turn to snow by late weekend, 2-6 inches possible

Forecast for snowfall this weekend in Eastern Iowa (National Weather Service)
Forecast for snowfall this weekend in Eastern Iowa (National Weather Service)

It’s time to get out the ice melt and snow shovels because the Corridor is expected to see its first winter storm this weekend.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm watch Friday morning for portions of east, central and southeast Iowa this weekend.

“This will be the first decent snowfall for the season,” said weather service meteorologist Tom Philip. “And with this being a holiday weekend, that means the storm could have a high travel impact.”

The storm is expected to hit late Saturday and continue through Sunday evening.

“There’s a chance of rain Saturday night with the potential for some light snowfall, but not much accumulation,” Philip said. “We expect the storm will really get going during the day Sunday.”

On Sunday, the storm is expected to bring several inches of snow, Philip said, with Cedar Rapids getting possibly 3 to 5 inches and Iowa City seeing an expected 2 to 6 inches.

Additionally, Philip said winds are expected to pick up from the north/northeast after daybreak Sunday, with gusts up to 25 and 35 miles per hour.

“The windchill factor will likely be in the teens for most of the day,” he said.

The combination of wind gusts and heavy, wet snow could result in downed tree branches and power lines, Philip said.

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But, because the storm just recently made landfall in California, Philip said it is likely the weather service’s forecasts will change.

“It’s important to note that there is a lot of uncertainty in our forecast,” Philip said, adding that the storm still is too far away to get a clear idea of exactly what’s coming.

“So people should stay tuned because the forecast will probably change as the storm gets closer and we get more data.”

If the forecast does change, Philip said he expects the storm will bring colder temperatures and possibly lower snow totals.

After the storm, temperatures are expected to stay in the teens and 20s next week.

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