A major winter storm expected midweek could pack a wallop in Johnston and the rest of the Des Moines metro area Thursday and Friday.
The National Weather Service isn’t leaving room for doubt, saying there’s a 100 percent chance of snow Thursday and Thursday night. Friday, precipitation chances drop to 70 percent and freezing drizzle is “likely.”
But just how much snow will fall in the metro? That's the $1 million question.
Several weather outlets have said it's too early to tell what accumulation will will amount.
KCCI-TV meteorologists were tracking three computer models – all calling for snow and most putting totals between 5 and 10 inches.
Until then, it’ll be just plain miserable. Highs will be in the low- to mid-20s both today and Wednesday, but brisk northwest winds will make it feel as cold as -10 degrees. The actual low Tuesday night will be around 3.
The storm’s exact path is yet to be determined and the National Weather Service forecast doesn’t estimate totals, but Accuweather says that as the storm moves east from the Rockies Wednesday night, “howling winds and driving snow will bring several hours of blizzard conditions to places from Goodland, Kan., to Grand Island and Omaha, Neb., Huron and Sioux Falls, S.D., and Des Moines, Iowa, Wednesday night into Thursday.”
The strongest winds will be on the front side of the snow storm, so severe blowing and drifting of snow after the storm passes is not likely.
The Accuweather model says the potential for large accumulations of snow is strong and said it could be not only the biggest storm of winter so far, but also a very disruptive one. Travel problems due to snow and/or ice should be expected along Interstate 29, Interstate 35, Interstate 70, Interstate 80 and Interstate 90.
Kansas City and St. Louis could receive significant freezing rain, potentially downing tree limbs and causing power outages along a band stretching from central and northern Missouri to central Illinois.