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Heavy snow possible Friday, Winter Storm Watch expanded

A relatively quiet day on Thursday before a winter storm approaches on Friday.
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 4:16 PM CST
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - After a bit of a January thaw, a winter storm is taking aim on the central United States for the end of the workweek.

A Winter Storm Watch has been posted for our southeast Iowa counties, beginning on Friday until early Saturday. This highlights the area with the potential to see the heaviest snowfall from this system.

A Winter Storm Watch, in effect from Friday, January 14, until early Saturday, January 15, 2022.
A Winter Storm Watch, in effect from Friday, January 14, until early Saturday, January 15, 2022.(KYOU)

Snow will begin in the afternoon on Friday across the area, with snowfall intensity increasing into the late afternoon and evening. The heaviest snowfall rates could be as high as 1 inch per hour or slightly higher at times, especially by mid- to late-evening Friday.

Snowfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches look likely for the western portion of our viewing area, including Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Bloomfield, and as far south as Kirksville. A Band of 2 to 4 inches of snowfall surrounds this heavier band, including all other communities in the area. Watch for additional changes to this forecast in the coming days; any shift in the storm’s track could move this heaviest band a little. However, we have fairly high confidence in the snowfall expected in Ottumwa.

Expected snowfall amounts with a winter storm on Friday through Saturday.
Expected snowfall amounts with a winter storm on Friday through Saturday.(KYOU)

Winds will be strong enough, in the 10 to 20 mph range out of the east, to cause some blowing and drifting of snow across the area. However, the snow will likely not be as light in nature as our last significant storm on New Year’s Day.

If you have travel plans on Friday, start considering how you can alter or postpone them. Driving will be hazardous for much of the day, especially on Friday evening and night. Roads will begin to improve during the day on Saturday, but Saturday morning could still be treacherous for most of the area.

Colder air returns behind this system, though it appears that it will not be as cold as recent cold snaps this month.

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