We are taking a look back at the ice storm that brought freezing rain to eastern Iowa on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
A strong low pressure system moved from the Pacific Ocean to the Plains, ushering in moisture to the Midwest. Here is a look at the surface and upper level weather map from Monday morning. The center of the storm was in Kansas, pumping in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
Morning Surface Map (1/16/17)
The freezing rain began late Sunday night and continues through about midday on Monday, before temperatures at the surface warmed above 32°. That created a very slick morning commute.
Surface temperatures were below freezing, so many of you may be asking why this wasn’t in the form of snow. The simple explanation: warm air above the ground. Looking at the surface temperatures, as well as the temperature several thousand feet above the surface. Here’s just a basic example of how we get snow, sleet and freezing rain (courtesy of the National Weather Service).
Here’s the actual data from the weather balloon sent up Monday morning, from the National Weather Service in Davenport. Notice the very shallow area of cold air toward the ground, and warm air above.
Generally, across eastern Iowa, freezing rain totals were 0.10″ to 0.25″. Some spots in Waterloo/Cedar Falls area received 0.30″.
While the ice made for some nice pictures, roads and sidewalks were a mess. Here are several photos sent in by KWWL viewers.
Jason Davis – Denver
Jay Elvers – Clayton County
Jessica Young – Epworth
Lisa Keppler – Marquette
Peggy Driscoll – Dubuque
Randi White – Guttenberg
Sarah Brandt – north of Bremer
Posted under Ice, Winter Weather
This post was written by Kyle Kiel on January 18, 2017