Winter storm warning includes QC area
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the Quad Cities and counties in the immediate area, and warned of possible blizzard conditions for Thursday.
The NWS dropped its previously-issued winter storm watch and replaced it with winter storm and blizzard warnings.
“A major winter storm will bring heavy snow, high wind gusts over 50 m.p.h. and blizzard or near-blizzard conditions” to our area Thursday, December 20, 2012 according to a statement from the NWS.
The winter storm warning for the immediate Quad Cities area is in effect from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday.
A blizzard warning is in effect Wednesday night through Thursday for eastern Iowa, along and northwest of a line from Washington, Iowa to Galena, Illinois. The storm will begin as rain and change to snow there Wednesday evening. Winds will increase to 25 or 30 miles per hour with gusts of about 45 miles per hour by Thursday morning.
Travel will be dangerous, if not impossible, in the blizzard warning area.
South and east of the blizzard warning area, including the Quad Cities, the change from rain to snow is not expected to happen until Thursday morning. Heavy snow and wind gusts over 50 miles per hour are expected then, and wind chills will fall into single digits.
The NWS says snowfall totals of four to eight inches or more are expected, especially north of Interstate 80.
Limited visibility will make travel dangerous. Snow and blowing snow will reduce visibility to zero at times, especially in open areas. Travel conditions will deteriorate quickly once the rain changes to snow.
Elevated surfaces such as bridges, overpasses and ramps may also become icy.
“A winter storm warning for heavy snow means six to seven inches or more of snow falling at intense rates of one to two inches per hour,” says the NWS website. They stress travel will be dangerous or impossible and recommend only traveling in an emergency.
Counties included in the winter storm warning area are Clinton, Muscatine, Scott, Louisa, Jefferson, Henry (Iowa), Des Moines, Van Buren, Lee, Stephenson, Carroll, Whiteside, Rock Island, Henry (Illinois), Mercer, Henderson, Scotland and Clark counties.
Counties included in the blizzard warning area are Buchanan, Delaware, Dubuque, Benton, Linn, Jones, Jackson, Iowa, Johnson, Cedar, Keokuk, Washington and Jo Daviess counties.