Iowa Prepares for First Major Winter Storm

Jan 5, 2015

UPDATE 12:35 pm Monday, January 5, 2015 - The "General" in charge of the Iowa Department of Transportation's battle plan for the approaching snow storm says they're ready to go. 

Maintenance Director Robert Younie says they have the equipment, staff and materials in place.

"The Iowa DOT has about 900 snow plow trucks. We are making sure those are ready to go. We are making sure our snow blowers---I hate to say that---but we’re making sure those are ready to go. We lining up staff----we’re lining up extra staff---because it looks like we’re going to be into this for over a day."

Younie says a conference call with the DOT's weather service didn't produce good news.  "This is a little spooky, but our weather service calls this a good, a very efficient snow producer.  Well, those are words that we really don’t want to hear.  But, I’m afraid that that’s the way it is."

Younie says they're expecting light, fluffy snow and wind.  He says even with all the precautions in place, motorists might want to consider rescheduling any trips planned in the next couple of days.

Our original post continues below.

A  major snow storm is expected to hit most of Iowa just as many are heading home for their evening commutes. The national Weather service issues a winter storm warning for much of northern, central and eastern Iowa this afternoon and evening. Roger Vachalek is a meteorologist with the national weather service in Des Moines.

“We are expecting snow to really ramp up in the afternoon and early evening hours across the area and with the moderate to, at times, heavy snowfall visibilities will be low as well as a lot of snow on the roads. Not as much wind with the system, but nonetheless travel will be impacted greatly especially during the evening commute "

Vachalek says moderate to heavy snowfall is expected with the highest snowfall amounts ranging from about 6 to 8 inches, with locally higher totals.  The highest totals are expected from northwestern Iowa to the east central counties.  That will make way for very cold temperatures tomorrow morning. Vachalek says northern Iowa will experience wind chills anywhere from 20 to 30 below zero.