Possible ‘SNOW SQUALL’ on Friday Afternoon
First of all, WHAT IS A SNOW SQUALL?
According to the National Weather Service:
A snow squall typically lasts less than an hour. The sudden white-out conditions combined with falling temperatures produce icy roads in just a few minutes. The combination of gusty winds, falling temperatures and quick reductions in visibility can cause extremely dangerous road conditions.
The difference between a snow squall and a snowstorm is the duration. A snowstorm could last hours or even days where snow squalls can be here and gone in as little as 30 minutes. They’re rather small in size, covering portions of only a few counties at a time as the concentrated line of snow moves through the area. (Much like a summertime thunderstorm)
The National Weather Service only started issuing snow squall warnings nationwide in November 2018. In December 2018, Iowa saw its first Snow Squall Warning in the eastern part of the state. Last October, Des Moines saw its first Snow Squall Warning:
Although Snow Squalls were not yet part of the warning system in February 2018, this type of winter weather led to a massive pileup on Interstate 35 near Ames, involving at least 15 semi-trucks and 35 cars. The accident involved one fatality.
As for the possibility of a Snow Squall hitting Iowa on Friday, the National Weather Service in Des Moines says that the storm system will move into the state on Thursday, bringing gusty winds up to 45 MPH at times. Several inches of snow could fall in Northern Iowa. The precipitation could begin as a wintry mix on Thursday afternoon.
If a snow squall warning is issued, wait until the squall passes before you travel!
Eastern Nebraska is under a ‘High Wind Watch’ for Thursday afternoon, where gusts could reach as high as 55 MPH.
Check 511ia.org for the latest road conditions across the state!