‘Strong winter storm’ forecast to hit region

Keokuk County is forecast to receive six to eight inches of snow. The heaviest snowfall is forecast to go further north.

Sigourney, Iowa- Officials are bracing for the prospect of the first major winter storm of the year this weekend, about a week after much of the area saw six to eight inches of snow. At press time on Thursday, Keokuk County was under a Winter Storm Watch, with moderate to heavy snow, and strong winds forecast for the region. Keokuk County Emergency Management Director Larry Smith said that the texture of the snow will allow for it to be blown around much easier during the storm.

“Davenport NWS forecasters say regardless of the amount snow that we are to get it will be light/fluffy thus blowing will create problems for all,” Smith said.

According to a situation report issued by the National Weather Service in Davenport, Keokuk County is predicted to receive six to eight inches of snow, with the heaviest amounts of snowfall occurring overnight. A heavier swath of eight to 10 inches of snow is forecast to hit northern Iowa. The National Weather Service also predicts that the initial snowfall will arrive in the Keokuk County area sometime between 4 pm and 6 pm. Smith advised that residents carefully watch the forecast and make appropriate plans for travel.

“They need to be sure and follow Iowa DOT travel info,” Smith said.

He reminded residents to check www.511ia.orgfor up-to-date road conditions and snowplow reports.

Snowfall is forecast to stop by Saturday afternoon, however strong winds and bitter cold will hit the region.

“Estimating sustained winds 20-30 mph,” Smith said of the forecast.

The area may not receive much of a reprieve either. Smith said that the National Weather Service is carefully watching another system coming this next week, though much uncertainty remains.

“They are watching another storm mid next week but too early to speculate,” Smith said.