Dangerous Ice Storm Hits Monday

UPDATED POST:  Sunday, December 27, 2015, 4:53 p.m.

Our “Winter Storm Watch” has been upgraded to a “Winter Storm Warning”.


Over the next 36 hours from late Sunday night through Tuesday morning, eastern Iowa and northern Illinois will see a significant amount of freezing rain, sleet, snow, and rain.

This will all break out in our southern hometowns before or around midnight Sunday and move northward to the Quad Cities overnight and head into our northern hometowns early Monday morning.

The heaviest ice accumulation will be from the Quad Cities back to southeastern Iowa, where more than one-quarter of an inch will glaze surfaces.

This is a very dangerous winter storm for us because of the heavy icing threat and winds gusting to 50 miles-per-hour, at times, which will likely bring down tree limbs and power lines causing power outages.

As temperatures drop Monday evening and Monday night, we could still pick up 1-3″ of snow around the Quad Cities (likely on the lower end of that range).  The heaviest snow nearby, 2-4, will be around Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Heavy snow is in the forecast for central and western Iowa (6-12″) and heavy rains are expected across central Illinois.

Join me for the very latest beginning at 5 a.m. on “Local 4 News This Morning” Monday.


ORIGINAL POST:  Sunday, December 27, 2015, AM

It’s the calm before the storm.

In a typical winter, I’d likely be watching the storm coming in and working to determine how much snow would blanket the area.

Since we’re in an El Nino winter and have seen a very warm December, this storm is going to be more a “wintry mix” storm and I’m working on the forecast and focusing on how much ice will accumulate and the snow amounts for eastern Iowa and northern Illinois are secondary.

While there’s still some model dependencies, this is looking to mainly be an ice storm for much of northern Illinois and eastern Iowa with some snow and for western Iowa, a heavy snow maker.

For the Mississippi and Illinois Valleys, we’re still under a “Winter Storm Watch” that begins late tonight in our southern hometowns and early Monday from the Quad Cities northward.

This runs through late Monday night.


This is going to be a big impact storm on a still busy travel period coming right after Christmas.  Notice that there are winter weather advisories, watches, and warnings (even a “Blizzard Warning” across Texas in the red) from the Southwestern United States through the Plains up to the Great Lakes.

After a nice day today, a wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet moves into our southern hometowns late tonight and will move northward from there arriving in the Quad Cities well before daybreak.  It’ll continue moving north Monday morning.

As temperatures hover in the low-to-mid-30s Monday, there will be periods when the wintry mix will mix with or change to rain, especially in our southern hometowns.

For the Quad Cities, we’ll see mostly freezing rain and sleet with some rain, at times, before it changes over to all light snow Monday evening and Monday night.

As for snow amounts on top of the ice accumulations, the Quad Cities will mainly see 1-3″.  Lesser snow accumulations are expected south and east with more snow off to the northwest.  Around Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, 3-6″ of snow may accumulate.  Western Iowa could see upwards to 8″ of snow with little in the way of ice.


We all know that just a little ice can cause major headaches and the bad news with this system is that we’ll likely see more than one-quarter of an inch of ice.  Some hometowns may see closer to one-half of an inch.

With winds blowing at 20 to 30 miles-per-hour and gusting to 40 or 50 miles-per-hour, this will easily bring down tree limbs and power lines causing power outages.

This has the potential and likelihood of becoming a DANGEROUS WINTER STORM!

After the ice and snow, more typical cold weather will dominate for the remainder of the upcoming week.

I’ll have another update later today.


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