Whew! That's the first word that comes to mind today as I look at the weather map for the Midwest. Sure, a large part of eastern Iowa is under a Winter Weather Advisory through 6 p.m. Friday night, but it appears we may be relatively lucky. Hopefully.

The Winter Weather Advisory that covers a large part of eastern Iowa (purple above), includes a mixture of precipitation today, changing to snow tonight and continuing off and on through tomorrow night. The current forecast from the National Weather Service is for 2 to 4 inches of snow for the Cedar Rapids area, through tonight. However, that's not the expected total for the two storms that will cross the area through tomorrow. More on that in a second.

Thankfully, we're going to miss most of the wind. And this system has a ton of wind with it. That huge area of the map above that's shaded tan, and covers parts of seven different states, is a High Wind Warning. Just look at the gusts that have already hit parts of the Dakotas. Those crazy strong winds are forecast to continue in some of the areas in the High Wind Warning through Friday afternoon.

Closer to home, parts of western Iowa are in a Wind Advisory with wind gusts expected to reach 50 miles-per-hour in some areas. Add that to up to six inches of snow, and it's enough to cause the issuance of a Blizzard Warning (red above) for about the western half of Iowa. The warning reaches to I-35, including the Des Moines area. The Blizzard Warning goes into effect for that area either later today or at midnight tonight, depending on location.


If you have plans to travel west, you might want to rethink them. Having said that, you'll need to use caution on roadways across nearly the entire state. Only 12 of Iowa's 99 counties are not currently under some type of weather advisory. Here are the current snowfall expectations in eastern Iowa over the next two days, via our weather partner, Iowa's News Now CBS 2.

The National Weather Service in Des Moines is forecasting totals could go higher. I really hope they're wrong. Stay tuned.


TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages