Updated Details on Forecast for "Tricky" Snow Storm
Many locations will get 3 to 5 inches of snow, but 4 to 7 inches are now in the forecast for more counties including Scott and Rock Island.
Late afternoon update: The latest forecast from the local weather service office places the Quad Cities metro area and several more Illinois counties within the Winter Storm Warning boundaries. Forecasters have updated the projected snow amounts, too. See latest briefing below, and check HERE for the updated information during the storm.
Heavy snow, up to 10 inches in a few locations, is expected in parts of eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois. The National Weather Service says a winter storm will move into our area from late tonight through Thursday, with the heaviest snowfall Thursday morning.
Gusty northwest winds up to 30 miles per hour will cause blowing and drifting snow in open areas.
The weather service says, "Recent trends show increasing potential for a southern shift of the storm." The updated forecast is for 4 to 7 inches of snow in the Quad Cities and Sterling, 4 to 8 inches in Dubuque, and 5 to 8 inches in Iowa City.
The weather service also says mixed precipitation with sleet and freezing rain is possible south and southeast of the Quad Cities.
The National Weather Service in the Quad Cities says, "This is a tricky storm to forecast due to the expectation for a narrow band of heavier snow" and "a very sharp cutoff to light amounts on the northwest edge" of the system.
Here's what local forecasters say in their most recent briefing. See pdf below.
● The weather service anticipates 3 to 5 inches of snow in parts of eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois, but 5 to 8 inches (or more) is in the forecast for a widened path of counties. Rock Island, Henry, and Carroll counties in Illinois have been added to the warning area. (They were previously under an advisory.)
● Confidence on any locations exceeding 8 inches of snow continues to be very low. While some models continue to indicate up to 10 inches for a worst case scenario, amounts this high are unlikely.
● The snow is expected to fall at peak rates of 0.5 - 1 inch per hour from 6 AM - 12 PM Thursday.
● Blowing and drifting snow is expected in open and rural areas due to northwest winds gusting up to 30 mph.
● Hazardous travel conditions are expected for the Thursday morning and evening commutes due to snow covered roads and reduced visibilities.
For most of eastern Iowa including the Quad Cities, a Winter Storm Warning will be in effect from midnight tonight through 6 PM Thursday. For areas to the west, a winter storm warning will be in effect from midnight until 6 PM Thursday.