AMES, Iowa – Dec. 31, 2010; 8:45 a.m. update - A clash of two storm systems is bringing mixed precipitation to Iowa today. The warmer system, pumping moisture from the south through Missouri into southern Iowa, is knocking heads with the frigid system moving in from the west. The result – slick road conditions for south central Iowa, and heavy snow and high winds for the northwest.
Freezing drizzle and rain are causing roads in southwest and south central Iowa to become partially or completely ice-covered. Interstate 35 from Des Moines south to the Missouri state line, as well as portions of U.S. 34, U.S. 59, U.S. 65, and U.S. 169 are affected by the freezing precipitation.
These two systems are affecting the entire Midwest region. The band of snow in eastern Nebraska will lift northward into northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota today. Heavy snow, 1 to 2 inches per hour, is expected at times. Far northwest Iowa could receive 5 to 8 inches of snow. Gusty winds tonight will reduce visibility in areas that receive significant snow. Dangerous wind chills of 20 to 25 below zero are forecast. A winter storm warning is in effect until noon Saturday for this section of Iowa.
To the south, freezing rain is covering roads in the northwest corner and north central portion of Missouri.
To the north, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and Minnesota State Patrol are reminding motorists that Interstate 94 between Moorhead and Alexandria, and Highway 10 between Moorhead and Detroit Lakes, remain closed due to dangerous road conditions. The highways closed Thursday and will remain closed until further notice. Motorists are advised not to travel until conditions improve and Mn/DOT and the Minnesota State Patrol open the roads.
The Iowa Department of Transportation is advising travelers carefully monitor weather and road conditions throughout the next 24 hours as these storms make their way across the state. For the latest road conditions, visit www.511ia.org or call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (outside of the state).