Potential Continues For Major Winter Storm This Weekend
(Spirit Lake)-- The region remains under the gun for what could be a major winter storm. A winter storm WARNING has now been issued for the region. It goes into effect at 3:00 am Saturday and continues until 6:00 pm Sunday. Peter Rogers, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says snowfall amounts are still up in the air...
"Well we are expecting the precipitation to start lifting northward later this evening into the overnight hours. I think the biggest question we have right now is what will that fall as? And so we are watching that very closely. What makes this system tricky particularly is that temperatures are right around freezing and so if you're a little bit warmer you get the rain, if you're a little bit colder you get the snow and potentially some ice. But that is what we're looking for across northwest Iowa. Overnight into tomorrow morning should mostly fall as rain with those warmer temperatures, and then eventually transition to all snow by later tomorrow afternoon. The transition between the rain and snow we could see some of that icing occur and actually get some accumulations especially on elevated surfaces where the temperatures are cooler."
He says strong wind will also be a factor with the system...
"We are expecting some pretty gusty northeasterly winds between say 30 and 35 mph so when we do change over to snow we will have areas of blowing snow with reduced visibility. We're not expecting blizzard conditions, but certainly blowing snow with visibilities below a mile at times with those winds."
Those with travel plans through the weekend should stay tuned for later forecasts. We'll have more with the weather a little later.