Winter Storm Could Dump More Than A Foot Of Snow On The Area As Spring Like Weather Comes To An Abrupt End

Wed 2-22-2017

(Spirit Lake)-- Don't let the 60 degree weather, sprouting tulips and budding trees fool you: it is, afterall, still only February. What could be the worse winter storm of the season is knocking on our door. A winter storm watch has been posted for the region from Thursday evening into Friday evening. Jeff Chapman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Sioux Falls tells KUOO news they've upped the expected snowfall amounts...Chapman01 (1) 

"The increased likelihood now is for some heavier snowfall in order, likely in that 6 to 12 inch range across all of northwest Iowa, southwest Minnesota."

Chapman says precipitation will start tomorrow (Thurs.) as rain, but will quickly change to snow tomorrow (Thurs.) evening...and he says it will likely be heavy at times...Chapman02 (2)

"It looks like through the day tomorrow probably shouldn't be too bad around the Iowa Great Lakes. Possibly a mix of some light rain and light snow starting earlier in the day, but it looks like once the precipitation begins to get a little more widespread it will also warm up enough that it will be primarily rain going through the day tomorrow. When things will begin to get serious is tomorrow night when the cooling begins to settle back in across the area. We'll see snow become heavy at times. In addition to having northeasterly winds increase to 25 to maybe some gusts upwards to 40 mph." 

Chapman says snowfall rates could be in the range of 1 to 2 inches per hour tomorrow (Thurs.) night into Friday. He says most of the heaviest snow should be out of the area late Friday night or early Saturday.

Chapman adds that while it will seem much colder due to the extremely mild temperatures of the past week, that readings will actually be closer to where they should be for this time of the year, with daytime highs in the 20's and 30's and lows in the teens.