Friday, December 19, 2014 - 4:42 AM

OPERATION SNOWSTORM: First Winter Storm of the 2012 Season on it’s way

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Weather Alerts in effect at 6:47PM on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Weather Alerts in effect at 6:47PM on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

 

Well, it is December, and this should be expected! The National Weather Service offices all around the state have issued Winter Weather bulletins for the entire state for a major winter storm that is set to enter the state Wednesday afternoon to evening.

Winter Storm Warnings, Winter Storm Watches, and Winter Weather Advisories have been issued all across the state ahead of this dangerous storm. The storm, just coming off the West Coast, will enter the Central Plains Wednesday before making it’s way into the Upper to Middle Mississippi valley late Wednesday night to Thursday Morning.

 

 

Rain and some snow will be brought with it in the afternoon hours of Wednesday before rapidly changing to all snow on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.

Along with the snow, another concern is strong winds coming out of the northwest, creating drifting and near-blizzard to blizzard conditions across the area. Winds will be sustained at about 30-40 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph at times. This will create havoc for travelers all across the area, with canceled flights expected throughout the region and white-out conditions on the roads. The “eye of the storm” as I like to call it, or the strongest time of the storm, will be about Thursday at 10AM through the noon hours.

With this, the National Weather Service is on a “teeter-totter” on whether to keep Winter Storm Warnings and Watches for the state or replace them with Blizzard Warnings and Watches.

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Now, let’s look at the overall accumulation with this storm. The East Central half of the state will see the worst of the snowfall, with the northwestern section of the state seeing barely anything. But please remember. Though little or lots of snow, winds will still back a punch. Blowing Snow is a hazard nonetheless. The East Central to Northwestern portions of Iowa is looking at totals of nearly a foot of so , Central portion looking at about 7-9″, with totals further northwest being about 2-5″. The North Central portion will be about in the middle of it all, being at about 4-7″.

 

But please, whatever the totals or winds turn out to be, prepare now! Have a emergency survival kit ready in your car filled with blankets, snacks, a flashlight, and anything you may need if you are caught in a blizzard. We advise you to travel only in the case of emergency, and just stay inside for the day.

We will issue another update if needed later tonight or tomorrow morning.

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About Author

Henry Luker is a Lead Forecaster for the Iowa Weather Network, directing staff and short term weather operations, occasionally filling in as a long term weather forecaster, and working as the assistant to the director of information technology. Henry Luker was born and continues to live in Clear Lake, Iowa, a small town of just over 8,000 people located near Mason City, Iowa. He has been interested in weather his entire life. He was the only one interested in weather at a young age, from kindergarten to where he is now. Henry’s interest in weather increased over the years and brought him to form “Henry’s Severe Weather Center,” serving North Central Iowa for over a year before rebranding to “Iowa’s Severe Weather Center.” Henry has spent nights covering severe weather over the area and has one mission of keeping Iowan’s informed and safe. He later met with some other colleagues in the business and collaborated to finally form and founder the “Iowa Weather Network.” He has since met multiple others interested in the field and helped him pursue his passion and goal, while also remaining very good friends. Henry currently designs and builds websites for many people locally and has become a well known webmaster within the community. While not working or covering weather, he enjoys spending time with his friends, tinkering around with various technological items, or watching/playing basketball. In the future Henry plans to either go into meteorology, graphic design, or Information Technology and hopes to attend either Iowa State University or the University of Oklahoma.