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Environment

QC Weather Service Issues First Snow Squall Warning

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Quad Cities National Weather Service
Graphic posted on Twitter Monday, 12/9/2019

The National Weather Service in the Quad Cities is working out a couple of kinks after issuing its first Snow Squall Warning Monday. 

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Credit submitted / Peter Speck
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Peter Speck
Meteorologist, Peter Speck

Meteorologist Peter Speck, from the local office in Davenport, says snow squalls feature bursts of moderate to heavy snow, quickly falling temperatures, and high winds.

He says those conditions can lead to slippery roads and low visibility making travel extremely hazardous.

Squalls also don't last very long, half an hour to an hour.

The best place to be during a snow squall is inside. Speck says drivers can take a few precautions. Slow down, turn on your hazard lights, and if possible, pull over and stop. But do not get out of your vehicle unless you are absolutely sure it's safe because there's a high probability other traffic will not see you. 

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Credit submitted / Quad Cities National Weather Service
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Quad Cities National Weather Service
An example of a snow squall whiteout from February, 2018

Speck says Monday's snow squall caused a crash on I-380 in Iowa, but it weakened significantly before the front arrived in the Quad Cities.

The warning did not trigger local weather radios to issue an alert, so the weather service is trying to fix that. 

Other snow storm and winter weather warnings are usually in effect for at least several hours for a broad geographic area.

But Speck says a Snow Squall Warning is much shorter and for specific locations, similar to a tornado or severe thunderstorm warning.

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