Snow Wednesday Night

We are tracking light snow forecast to move through the area tonight bringing most locations 1-3” of new snow. The wind tonight and Thursday will be 10-15 mph. Blowing snow will be minimal. The snow tapers off around 4 or 5 AM. The roads will be slick tonight into early Thursday morning. High temperatures Thursday will reach the low and mid 30s, but there are much warmer days ahead.

Snow Forecast DMA Hand


A stray rain or snow shower is possible Friday afternoon with the best chance in far northeast Iowa. Expect dry weather this weekend with sunshine as temperatures warm into the 40s Saturday and 50s Sunday. A lot of snow will melt this weekend.

The warm weather doesn’t stop there. Highs will be in the 60s Monday and Tuesday. This comes with a gusty wind and a chance of rain both days. We might even have a thunderstorm Tuesday.


Posted under Forecast Discussion, Winter Weather

This post was written by Schnack on March 2, 2016

Tracking Wintry Weather Monday Night/Tuesday

After a very nice weekend of mild temperatures (aside from the wind), we are in store for some changes in the week ahead.

Monday is a tricky temperature forecast, as another cold front will track through the area.  Before that, temperatures will warm up quickly to the south with temperatures in the mid 50s.  However, the north will see temperatures in the lower to middle 40s before the front moves through.  Clouds will increase throughout the day.

All eyes turn to late Monday evening through Tuesday.


The guidance coming in late Sunday evening are showing the best chance for accumulation north of the Highway 30 corridor.  South of Highway 30 is where we have the best chance for a wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet and/or snow, before changing to snow late Monday night.  We have to take into account the very warm temperatures we’ve had over the last several days.  The snow will likely melt on the ground as it falls, initially.  Also, with the warmer temperatures the snow to liquid ratio (SLR) will likely be lower, which means the snow won’t accumulate as quickly as if the temperatures were in the lower to middle 20s.

The forecast calls for a Trace to 3″ of snow, with locally higher amounts.  Those higher amounts are more likely to occur north of Highway 30, and more east.

Snow Forecast DMA Hand


Here are the probability maps for 1 inch or more of snow, 2″ or more of snow, and 4″ or more of snow.  Notice, according to the Weather Prediction Center, the heavier snowfall is forecast to fall east of us in eastern Iowa.  This, as of Sunday evening.

snow 1

snow 2

snow 4


This is all dependent on the exact track of the area of low pressure.  Computer model guidance are still not in agreement with one another.

Stay tuned for further forecast updates.



Posted under Forecast Discussion, Winter Weather

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on February 28, 2016

Possible Snow Tuesday

After a warm weekend there is potential for a storm to bring snow to Iowa. The model guidance has changed with every update from location of snow and amount of snow. At one point one model had 36” of snow for parts of eastern Iowa and the next update it was lowered to 7”. At the same time the other long range model had nothing when the first one mentioned had 36”. So as you can see the model guidance has not been very helpful.

As Meteorologists we like to see consistency in the long range models from update to update. That has not been the case in the last 6 days. As we get closer to next Tuesday the hope is for some similarity. At least by the weekend the short term models will add some insight as to what might happen on Tuesday.

With that said, here is the latest model guidance showing where the best chance of snow to fall. Notice the big difference on location of the snow. These maps are most likely going to change with each update. One of the model updates 4 times a day so expect a lot of changes until we get closer.



The National Weather Service is also looking at the potential for snow and possibly heavy across Iowa Tuesday.


We will continue track the developments through the warm weekend. The weekend weather throws a wrench in this storm as well. The ground is going to be very warm after three days with temperatures near or into the 50s. So for the snow to accumulate it would have to come down pretty fast. The storm also will start out as rain with temperatures near 40. There is a lot to iron out so the best advice is to check back for updates as there will be changes.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on February 25, 2016

Windy Friday

Wind Advisory


A High Wind Warning is in effect for most of the KWWL viewing area through early this evening.  Gusts 40 to 60 mph at times.

Today will be a windy and warmer day across eastern Iowa.  Areas to the north will see some cloud cover during the morning hours, otherwise the sky will be mostly sunny.  A south wind will turn west 20 to 35 mph, gusting up to 40 to 60 mph at times.  A High Wind Warning is in effect through the early evening for most of the KWWL viewing area.

The wind will begin to calm down overnight, with temperatures dropping into the 30s under a mostly clear sky.  Saturday looks pretty good as well with a mostly sunny sky and high temperatures back in the upper 40s to mid 50s.  There is a slight chance for a rain or snow shower on Sunday, otherwise it will be partly cloudy with highs in the 40s.

While we won’t see the 50s early next week, temperatures will still be above average and the pattern looks dry for the most part.

Speaking of the high wind, around midnight (2/19/16), there was a 56 mph sustained wind speed with wind gusts up to 76 mph in Faith, SD.

wind faith sd


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on February 19, 2016

Valentine’s Day Snow

Snow begins to track into the area between 10 PM and midnight Saturday night, and will continue through much of Valentine’s Day.

Winter Weather Advis

The snow will become more scattered Sunday afternoon.  Generally 2-6″ of snow possible from north to south across the KWWL viewing area.  A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect later tonight through 6 PM Sunday.

Snow Forecast DMA Hand

Temperatures tonight will be in the single digits and lower teens before rising overnight thanks to a southeast breeze from 10-15 mph.  With a little bit of a breeze, the snow may blow around a bit which could reduce visibility even more throughout the day on Sunday.  Allow extra time.

Threats Winter 2

A clipper system tracks through on Tuesday bringing another chance for snow across the area with the possibility of accumulation.  We will likely warm things up by the end of the work week.

Stay with KWWL for updated forecasts.


Posted under Forecast Discussion, Winter Weather

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on February 13, 2016

Blizzard or Near Blizzard Conditions

Blizzard or near blizzard conditions are possible Sunday afternoon into Monday afternoon in eastern Iowa. Right now a Blizzard Watch is in effect for north central and northwest Iowa. This area could be expanded farther east as we get closer. Light snow is forecast to fall (1-2”)..that is not the big story. The bigger concern is the strong wind (gusts to 45 mph) Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon. The snow that fell early this week and the additional 1-2” expected to fall will cause hazardous travel conditions. Again this is for Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon.

 MW WatchesWarningsAdvisories Blizzard Watch

The area of concern for the significant blowing snow will be in locations where the deeper snow pack is. The map below shows the snow depth across the area as of Friday.


Definition Blizzard


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on February 5, 2016

TRACKING Potential Blizzard Conditions for Tuesday

DMA WatchesWarningsAdvisories

Heavy snow and strong winds are expected to create hazardous travel conditions over the KWWL viewing area, as well as much of the Midwest, late Monday night through Wednesday. Blizzard conditions would be most likely in our viewing area Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon. This means that winds will be over 35 mph and visibilities will be less than a quarter mile for over 3 hours.

You’ll want to stay ahead of this winter storm.

Winter Storm Planner

Snow Forecast DMA Hand

Now that the storm is on the mainland of the United States, our weather balloon network is able to gather important data that feeds our computer model guidance.  Some of the early runs Sunday evening are keeping a heavy band of snow in our far northwestern counties, and points to the northwest. This is where 8 to 12 inches of snow is expected, with isolated higher amounts possible.  In the central part of the area, there will be 6 to 9 inches of snow.  The southeastern part of the area will see a sharp cutoff in snow totals.  This is due to those areas being closer to the track of the low pressure, and the fact that warm air may work in late Tuesday morning or early afternoon, mixing the snow with sleet and rain.  There may be a brief changeover to all rain around Iowa City and Washington.  We’re also keeping an eye on the potential for dry air to wrap into the system.

Storm Impacts

The winds will be very strong with this system, kicking in late Tuesday morning and will be the strongest Tuesday afternoon and night. Gusts could be as high as 45 mph.

A Blizzard Watch is in effect for Tuesday and Wednesday for Black Hawk, Bremer, Butler, Chickasaw, Fayette, Grundy, and Winneshiek counties.  A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for Tuesday and Wednesday for Allamakee, Benton, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Iowa, Jones, Linn and Tama counties.  The remainder of the KWWL viewing is not under a winter weather alert as of Sunday afternoon.

CAUCUS NIGHT: Scattered snow showers or flurries may track in around 10 PM, but the real issues don’t arrive until after Midnight Monday night.
Caucus Night Forecast

Stay tuned to KWWL for further updates.



Posted under Forecast Discussion, Winter Weather

This post was written by Kyle Kiel on January 31, 2016

Friday Afternoon Storm Update

We are still tracking a major winter storm to begin late Monday night. The storm is located north of Hawaii this afternoon. As it moves on shore later this weekend there will be a lot more data put into the computer models. This will help increase our confidence on the the track of the storm. The model guidance so far has been pretty consistent…we like that as forecasters. The recent updates take the storm northeast between the Quad Cities and St. Louis. The heaviest snow falls on the northwest side of the storm track putting Iowa in the “bulls eye” at this point.

Early indications show there is about 1” of liquid available to be changed to snow across Iowa with this storm.


There may be some adjustments in the track and available moisture as we get closer to Tuesday, but at this point 6-12” of snow is likely across the KWWL viewing area. Snow moves into the area from the southwest late Monday night, after midnight. The heaviest of the snow will fall all day Tuesday and then gradually taper off Wednesday morning.

Not only will there be a lot of snow, the wind will be very strong. The winds will be sustained at 20-40 mph with gusts to near 50 mph. Considerable blowing and drifting snow is expected Tuesday and Wednesday.

Plan accordingly if you have any travel plans Tuesday and Wednesday.

Caucus Night Weather: the snow would not start in eastern Iowa until late Monday night…after midnight. So if you have any plans Monday evening, travel should not be a problem.


Check back for further updates as we continue to track this major winter storm.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on January 29, 2016

Tracking a Major Winter Storm


We are still tracking the potential for a major winter storm to bring snow and strong winds to Iowa and the Midwest. Early indications show the snow beginning late Monday night through Wednesday morning in eastern Iowa. The latest model guidance shows the low tracking a little farther northwest. This track would pull some warm air into eastern Iowa Tuesday. The result will be a rain/snow mix for a few hours lowering snow totals in southeast Iowa.

The map in this post shows (in white) where the most likely area is to receive snow. There will be a band of heavy snow somewhere within the outlined area. Exactly where will depend on the track and we still are still early on that front. The low is currently in the northern Pacific Ocean and has not gotten into the upper air network to be sampled as well as the lack of surface observations. When that happens, this weekend, it will show its true colors and we will have a better handle on the track.

Here is the forecast position of the storm Tuesday morning by one model.


The placement of the heavy snow as well as type of precipitation is dependent on where the track of the storm will be. Here are two computer models suggestion as to where the heavier snow would fall.


A strong wind around this storm will have gusts around 45 mph Tuesday and Wednesday. Once the low moves east of Iowa, the wind shifts to the northwest and pulls in colder air for Wednesday with highs in the teens. The strong wind 20-40 mph) will cause blowing and drifting snow making travel hazardous Tuesday and Wednesday. Plan accordingly.

Caucus Night Weather: the snow would not start in eastern Iowa until late Monday night…after midnight. So if you have any plans Monday evening, travel should not be a problem.
Caucus Night Forecast

Check back for further updates as we continue to track this major winter storm from the northern Pacific Ocean across the Midwest.


Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on January 28, 2016

Quick Storm Update For Early Next Week

Here is what we know at this point:

What: Snow (possibly heavy 6″+) and windy
When: Monday night through Wednesday
Where: Iowa and much of the Midwest

We will have more specifics on the storm as it gets closer.

Model guidance is still showing a large storm across the middle of the country with areas on the northwest side of the track with the potential for heavy snow and strong winds. At this point the precipitation is forecast to begin Monday night and not impact the Caucus Monday evening.


The amount of liquid possible in this winter storm could be more than 1″.




Posted under Forecast Discussion

This post was written by Schnack on January 27, 2016