Iowa DOT News Release

Wintry mix and gusty winds could cause travel headaches over New Year’s holiday period

Posted on: December 30, 2010

AMES, Iowa – Dec. 30, 2010: 9:30 a.m. update – A mix of rain, freezing rain and snow are forecast for Iowa over the next 48 hours, which could make travel hazardous in some parts of the state. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is preparing for the heaviest amounts of snowfall to occur in the northwest corner of the state. As much as 4.5-8 inches of snow is forecast for Friday in an area northwest of a line stretching from Little Sioux to Cherokee to the Minnesota border.

Colder air is expected to filter across the west late this afternoon and evening, allowing wet surfaces to freeze. Bridges, overpasses, ramps and shaded areas will freeze first, and ice may not be easily visible or expected. Reduce your vehicle’s speed for conditions and use extra caution when traveling over these sections of roadway.

This prolonged winter event also involves a second weather system expected to move into the state Friday. This system is anticipated to be more potent and may arrive at a time when many Iowans will be out celebrating New Year’s Eve. Measurable snow in the northwest and gusty winds will accompany this system. The exact track of the system is still fluctuating; therefore, the Iowa DOT is advising travelers to remain tuned to updated weather forecasts available through local radio and television stations. For the latest Iowa road conditions, visit or call 511.

If your holiday plans that may include a trip to Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota or Wisconsin, keep in mind that travel in these states will be affected by the same storm systems. Ice-covered roads are expected in some parts of the Midwest. In areas that receive significant snowfall, blizzard or near-blizzard conditions could occur when the strong west to northwest winds of 30 to 35 mph arrive behind the Friday storm.

Celebrate the New Year by remaining safe and keeping others safe on the roadways. Drinking and driving can be a deadly combination any time of the year. But, adding poor road conditions to the mix multiples the risk.

Don’t get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. Judging your blood alcohol concentration and your ability to drive by how you feel after a few drinks is a mistake. If you’ve been drinking, call a cab, utilize a designated driver or contact a local sober ride service. Complimentary services are available in many communities and through several local establishments.


Media contact: Dena Gray-Fisher, 515-239-1922 or

Iowa highway in the evening