With a major winter storm approaching residents are encouraged to take the necessary precautions now before travel conditions become treacherous. Marion County Engineer Roger Schletzbaum says his department is keeping an eye on the storm and making plans to do what they can to keep our roads safe and passable. Schletzbaum says he anticipates very difficult travel conditions to begin Tuesday and if we receive the amount of snow and wind that is predicted, travel could be limited on some area gravel roads until Saturday. He says the Secondary Roads Department plans to run their emergency routes Tuesday and Wednesday and will begin clearing additional gravel roads early Thursday morning.
Marion County Sheriff Ron Goemaat reports that area roadways are already becoming slick and urges caution when traveling this afternoon. There have also been reports of several vehicles in ditches on highway 163 so please give yourself extra time to get to your destination and always give our road crews and first responders plenty of room to work.
KNIA/KRLS will continue to keep in contact with our local officials and meteorologists to bring you up to the minute weather and road condition information first, fast and accurately.
Given the potential severity of the storm, the full winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service is printed below.
Winter Storm Watch
URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
746 AM CST MON JAN 31 2011
…MAJOR WINTER STORM FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL TUESDAY
AFTERNOON INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING…
.A POTENT TWO PART WINTER STORM SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO IMPACT IOWA
TODAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING. THE INITIAL PORTION OF THE SYSTEM
WILL BRING LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOW ACCUMULATIONS TO MUCH OF THE
STATE. THE SECOND PORTION OF THE STORM SYSTEM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO
PRODUCE A MAJOR WINTER STORM WITH HEAVY SNOWFALL AND NEAR BLIZZARD
CONDITIONS POSSIBLE ACROSS CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL IOWA TUESDAY
AFTERNOON INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING.
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…KNOXVILLE…OSKALOOSA…CHARITON…
746 AM CST MON JAN 31 2011
…WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON
THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING…
A WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON
THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.
* TIMING…SNOW IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP THIS AFTERNOON AND WILL
BE PRECEDED BY PATCHY FREEZING DRIZZLE THIS MORNING. LIGHT
SNOW IS EXPECTED TONIGHT BEFORE RAPIDLY INTENSIFYING TUESDAY
INTO TUESDAY NIGHT. THE SNOW IS EXPECTED TO END WEDNESDAY
* STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS…1 TO 3 INCHES OF SNOW IS
EXPECTED WITH THE FIRST STORM THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT.
TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS FROM BOTH STORMS OF 14 TO 18 INCHES
WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE WATCH AREA. SOME UNCERTAINTY STILL
EXISTS WITH THE EXACT TRACK OF THE SECOND STORM.
* WINDS/VISIBILITY…NORTH WINDS AT 25 TO 35 MPH WITH HIGHER
GUSTS ARE EXPECTED TUESDAY AFTERNOON INTO WEDNESDAY MORNING.
VISIBILITIES COULD BE REDUCED TO NEAR ZERO AT TIMES DUE TO
BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW CREATING NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS
TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.
* IMPACTS…ROADS ARE ANTICIPATED TO BECOME SNOW PACKED AND
SLICK. TRAVEL WILL LIKELY BECOME DANGEROUS AND POTENTIALLY
A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOW…SLEET…OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS FOR ADDITIONAL UPGRADES.