Heavy snow moves in later tonight, travel to be impacted

A winter storm affects the area on Thursday.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 3:46 PM CST
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - A winter storm will bring a round of heavy snow to the area, with road conditions expected to deteriorate overnight into Thursday morning.

The entire area is under either a Winter Storm Warning or a Winter Weather Advisory. You can find the latest on those here.

A storm system is developing in the southern Plains on Wednesday evening, with its track taking it from near Tulsa, Okla. to south of St. Louis, Mo., to northern Indiana. This places our region in the favorable zone for heavier snowfall, staying to the northwest of the low pressure center for the duration of the storm.

Precipitation is likely to develop across our area overnight, with scattered activity possible after Midnight and chances really increasing after 4:00 a.m. This will lead to accumulation likely by the time the morning commute takes place, causing disruptions to travel. Snow activity continues in earnest through the morning, with rates of up to an inch an hour possible at times. Precipitation will begin to diminish by early afternoon on Thursday.

Northwest winds could gust as high as 25 to 35 mph during the day, leading to some blowing and drifting of snow. This will make it harder for road crews to get streets and highways cleared, likely prolonging the overall impacts of this storm.

Most of the area will see snowfall totals in the 4 to 7 inch range, especially those in the areas where a Winter Storm Warning is in effect. Surrounding that, especially toward Kirksville and points south, lesser amounts in the 2 to 4 inch range will be seen. Some mixed precipitation is possible in that area, too, which would cut into the snowfall total if it lasts longer than expected.

Expected snowfall totals on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.
Expected snowfall totals on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023.(KCRG)

Travel will be difficult for much of the day on Thursday. If you need to travel, plan extra time to get to your destination. You will need to slow down on snow-covered roads, and give extra stopping distance between you and the car in front of you. This also applies to areas of reduced visibility, whether it’s from heavy falling snow or blowing snow, which can quickly get dangerous.

As the storm exits, skies should clear by Thursday night and winds will gradually relax. Temperatures will likely stay near or below freezing on Friday, but warm air makes a return by the weekend. Highs in the 40s and some sunshine will allow for substantial melting of our fresh snow cover.