Saturday’s snow could become biggest of the season

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Winter Storm Warning in effect tonight into Saturday

7.3 inches is the biggest snow event we've had in the winter season of 2017/2018, occurring on December 28-29, 2017. There's a decent chance the Quad Cities wakes up to more than that Saturday morning as a potent late-season winter storm begins tonight.

Over the past five years, we really haven't seen too many March snowstorms. There's a possibility we get more snow in the next 36 hours than all the snow in March 2015, March 2016, and March 2017 combined!

Snowfall will ramp up after 9pm Friday night, lasting through 1pm Saturday. White-out conditions are possible, especially between 4am and 9am Saturday morning. That's when it will be very hazardous to be on the roads.

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for a dozen counties in our News 8 coverage area.

Synopsis: First, clouds will increase from west to east this afternoon with rain moving in around dinnertime. Rain will mix with snow after sunset with a gradual turn-over to all snow for areas along and north of I-80. This includes the Quad City Metro area.

Snow will be heavy at times between 4am and 9am Saturday morning when thundersnow is possible. Where that occurs, significant snowfall rates are possible, possibly up to 2 inches per hour! This will cause very dangerous driving conditions, especially considering the heavy nature of the snow and some easterly winds gusting above 30 mph.

Snow will wind down Saturday afternoon. Total snowfall accumulations will be in the 3-6 inch range for most of our coverage area. However, confidence is building in a narrow swath of 6-9 inch snowfall. Cedar, Scott, Clinton, Jackson, Carroll, Whiteside, Lee, Henry, and Bureau County have the highest probability of this happening. Should thundersnow occur in this band, a few isolated reports greater than 9 inches will be possible. We do have to keep in mind that the ground surface temperatures are above freezing so this will be melting and compacting as it's accumulating. Still, it will be quite treacherous for anyone trying to get around.

Travel is not advised Saturday morning.

Saturday evening will be quite chilly. Overnight lows will dip to 20 degrees with only modest warming on Sunday, thanks to snow cover.

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen

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