Public Safety

Freezing rain, more snow expected Tuesday morning in Cedar Rapids area

Rain, sleet could hamper morning and evening commutes

Greg Friestad of Iowa City uses his snowblower as he helps his neighbors clear snow in Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Greg Friestad of Iowa City uses his snowblower as he helps his neighbors clear snow in Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Morning and evening commutes could be icy Tuesday as fluctuating temperatures are forecast to bring a winter weather mix that could leave Eastern Iowa’s roads and sidewalks slippery.

Andy Ervin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities, said temperatures are expected to rise above freezing for a few hours Tuesday, before dropping back into single digits, creating a “messy transition” of precipitation.

“We’re going to see precipitations transition from snow over to freezing rain, then possibly to rain, back into freezing rain before finishing again as snow,” Ervin said. “That is likely to produce some slick conditions on area roads and sidewalks.”

Tuesday’s forecast for the Corridor area was quickly changing, with the Cedar Rapids area just on the edge of seeing more snow or freezing rain depending on how the storm shifts, meteorologist Alex Gibbs said Monday evening.

Light to moderate freezing rain will start around 6 a.m., with snow mixing in around 8 a.m., Gibbs said. Areas north of Cedar Rapids are likely to see more snow, and areas south will probably see more freezing rain during the day before switching to snow. Up to 1/10th of an inch of ice could accumulate in some areas.

“It’s going to be messy, no doubt about that,” he said.

The heaviest precipitation will fall from late Tuesday morning to midnight Tuesday, according to the forecast.

Ervin said snowfall totals aren’t expected to be more than 1 to 3 inches and pavement temperatures — which warm up slower than the air temperature — will play a big role in how slick roads become.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

Ervin added that roads and sidewalks pre-treated with salt will likely be in better shape when the freezing rain begins.

Following Tuesday’s brief warm up, the remainder of the week will return to low temperatures and “bitterly cold wind chills,” Ervin said.

Tuesday’s forecast comes while many Iowans still are brushing off the snow from last weekend’s winter storm, which dropped close to 7 inches of snow in some areas.

l Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.