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Winter storm to hit Iowa today

Weather service expects 5 to 8 inches overnight

February 20, 2013
By David Swartz with AP reports - Managing Editor , Estherville Daily News

A winter storm blamed for one death in Oklahoma is moving into Iowa today.

According to the Associated Press, winter storm warnings were issued from Colorado through Illinois. By midday Wednesday, heavy snow was already falling in Colorado and western Kansas. In Oklahoma, roads were covered with a slushy mix of snow and ice that officials said caused a crash that killed an 18-year-old man.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jayson Gosselin said parts of Colorado, Kansas and northern Missouri could get 10 to 12 inches of snow. Dodge City, Kan., was bracing for up to 16 inches of snow. Farther south, freezing rain and sleet already were making driving treacherous.

skidded out of control in slush on State Highway 19, crossed into oncoming traffic and was hit by a truck, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. The other driver was not seriously injured.

In northern Arkansas a school bus crashed Wednesday afternoon on a steep, snowy country road, leaving three students and the driver with minor injuries. Pope County Sheriff Aaron Duval said the bus slid off a road on Crow Mountain, nearly flipping before it was stopped by trees at the roadside.

Lawmakers in Nebraska and Iowa cancelled committee meetings and hearings, and the Arkansas Senate voted to recess until Monday so lawmakers could make it home before the worst of the storm hit. University of Nebraska officials moved a Big Ten men's basketball game against Iowa from Thursday to Saturday.

In Iowa, the National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued a winter storm warning for snow and blowing snow, which is in effect from 6 p.m. today until noon on Friday.

The weather service said snow will develop over central and northern Iowa late Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening. The heaviest snowfall will develop quickly after onset and last for around six hours before diminishing somewhat overnight.

Storm total accumulations will range from 5-8 inches.

Easter winds will increase to 15 to 25 mph with higher gusts late Thursday before diminishing overnight.

Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour coincident with the period of strongest winds will reduce visibility to one-quarter mile or less for several hours.

Conditions will deteriorate rapidly as the snow moves in late Thursday.

A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous.



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