SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – As this week started, it felt like spring in Siouxland, but Old Man Winter decided to make his rounds again with high winds and snow on the way.
Overnight Wednesday into Thursday, rain showers moved into the Siouxland area and stayed in the area through Thursday morning due to temperatures being above freezing.
Also on Wednesday, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a high wind watch due to winds projected to range between 30 and 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph possible throughout Thursday and Friday.
By Wednesday night, the NWS issued a winter storm watch for portions of the Siouxland area, but by early Thursday morning, they had upgraded that winter storm watch to a blizzard warning.
The blizzard warning will go into effect at 6 p.m. Thursday evening and will remain in effect until 6 p.m. Friday evening.
The blizzard warning will be going into effect at 6 p.m. Thursday evening as that’s when surface temperatures are looking to fall below freezing (or 32 degrees). As this happens, the snow will become more light/powdery, meaning it’s easier to be blown around.
Prior to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. this evening when temperatures start to drop below freezing, we are still likely to see snow in the area despite temperatures hovering just above freezing. This happens due to the highs winds in the area. The winds are ranging between 20 and 30 mph in Siouxland Thursday morning. These high winds producing wind chill values in the 20s. This could lead to a wet and heavier type of snowfall as surface temperatures are at or just above freezing.
The NWS upgraded the watch to a blizzard warning due to the winds mixed with the incoming snow. A blizzard warning will be issued by the NWS when the following conditions are expected for at least 3 hours:
- Visibility could be reduced down to a quarter-mile or less due to falling and/or blowing snow.
- Winds at least 35 mph.
Winds in Siouxland Thursday morning we ranging between 15 and 30 mph with gusts reaching between 35 and 45 mph. These winds are projected to stay sustained between 20 and 35 mph throughout the afternoon hours but are showing signs of increasing to between 30 and 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph possible by this evening and overnight.
With the falling snow and the high winds, portions of Siouxland could experience whiteout conditions through this evening and overnight hours, as well as throughout the start of tomorrow.
In blizzard conditions, it is advised that travel is not recommended unless absolutely necessary as it is very dangerous to drive in whiteout conditions.
If driving is necessary it is recommended that drivers:
- Slow down and take their time.
- Always drive with their headlights on.
- Allow extra travel time.
- Provide extra space (if possible) around other possible vehicles on the road.
And with any serious weather, expect delays or closings for Siouxland schools and businesses.