A winter storm that socked in traffic in the Southern Plains lost its bite as it reached up into northwestern Iowa Thursday night, leaving 8 inches of crystalline powder that had more than one person looking in the back of the closet for those cross country skis stowed away a few winters ago.
Emmet County Emergency Management Director Terry Reekers said the snow came late enough that it didn't bother a lot of Thursday night rush hour traffic.
"And we needed the moisture," Reekers said. "Certainly we've had worse snow."
The darker areas indicate heavier snowfall in this graphic.
Fortunately, the snow was something county road crews could deal with.
"They're making good progress," Emmet County engineer Roger Patocka said Friday morning.
Patocka said crews had gotten most of the snow pushed off the roads sometime Friday morning and they were checking slick spots on blacktops for sanding.
"We couldn't ask for better conditions for plowing," Patocka said, noting that all the crews were out working.
While there was 8 inches of snow locally, that only meant the equivalent of about an inch of rain, something ISU Extension crop special Paul Kassel in Spencer said was "probably not a big deal."
"It's quite dry," Kassel said, waxing optimistic at predictions for three and a half inches of rain in April and four in May. Unfortunately, corn drew up what subsoil moisture there was last year.
"We kind of used the reserve of the reserve," said Kassel, noting that normally corn roots go down five feet to recover moisture. Last summer it was eight feet or more.
"April and May will be very important months to improve things," Kassel said.