Eastern Iowa residents can expect a “very wintry week” with a snowstorm developing Tuesday afternoon and dangerously cold temperatures by the end of the week.
Andy Ervin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Quad Cities office, said freezing drizzle will continue before it changes to freezing rain and then snow Tuesday afternoon. Residents can expect between 6 to 8 inches with blowing and drifting snow late Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
If drivers are on unsalted roads, they can expect slick conditions.
For the remainder of the workweek, Ervin said Eastern Iowans can expect frigid conditions, with the worst coming Thursday night into Friday. The temperature in the Cedar Rapids area is expected to be between -10 and -15 degrees that night, with windchills at -30 or -35 degrees, which Ervin calls “dangerously cold” — there’s a high risk of frostbite to exposed skin in this weather, even for a short amount of time.
Drivers can follow a number of tips to stay safe while driving in cold and slick conditions. AAA recommends not using a vehicle’s parking break or cruise control and keeping the gas tank at least half full at all times.
The auto club also advises drivers to keep their cars stocked with a cellphone, blankets, winter gear, food and any needed medication in case they get stranded.
If a car gets stuck, people should stay in the vehicle, according to AAA. This makes it easier for rescuers to locate people who are stranded, and it’s easy to get lost or lose sight of a car in blowing snow. Drivers should tie a brightly colored cloth to the top of the car’s antenna or stick it at the top of a window. Dome lights should also be kept on at night.
Drivers should also ensure the tailpipe is not clogged with snow or ice. A clog can cause carbon monoxide to leak into the passenger compartment.
The engine should run just long enough to remove the chill in the air with the heater and then be turned off to save gas.
AAA also recommends a winter driving kit include: a bag of cat litter, sand or salt, a snow brush and small shovel, traction mat, flashlight, window washing liquid, gloves, ice scraper, towels, jumper cables, blanket, warning flares or triangles, and a cellphone.
Updated Road Conditions
Click here to see current road conditions, updated by the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Click here to see current locations of Iowa DOT snowplows or see images of roads from inside the trucks.
This list will be updated througout the day
Tuesday: Cedar Rapids Community School District, Iowa City Community School District, College Community School District and Linn-Mar Community School District have canceled all classes. All Kirkwood Community College locations will be closed Tuesday.
North Liberty: The City of North Liberty will prohibit on-street parking beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday. The prohibition will expire Thursday at 6 p.m. Off-street parking for those without available garage, driveway or other paved parking space is available at public parking areas, including the North Liberty Community Center, 520 W. Cherry Street. Vehicles in violation of the no-parking order may be ticketed and towed without notice.
• The Iowa Department of Transportation’s meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hiawatha City Hall to discuss improvements to Interstate 380 in Linn County has been canceled.
• Cedar Rapids YMCA canceled all exercise programs, classes and child care Tuesday.
• Indian Creek Nature Center is closed Tuesday and programs scheduled for the day will not take place.
• The Cedar Valley Humane Society will also be closed to the public Tuesday due to the incoming winter storm.