[UPDATED Thursday, December 9, 8:15 AM]
A winter storm continues its march towards us.
What were Winter Storm Watches on Wednesday are slowly turning into Winter Storm Warnings from west to east as the first big winter storm of the 2021-22 season gets closer.
Parts of Nebraska (counties in pink) go under Winter Storm Warnings beginning this evening and continuing through Friday afternoon. Up to 10 inches of snow is possible in that area. The National Weather Service says winds could also gust as high as 30 miles per hour Friday afternoon, with the possibility that "travel could be very difficult".
Further east in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, Winter Storm Watches remain in effect. That timeline is from noon Friday through approximately 6 a.m. on Saturday. The National Weather Service now says as much as a foot of snow is possible in extreme northern Iowa. Right now, from northern Iowa up to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin look to be the areas that will see the heaviest snow. All could see as much as 12 inches of the white stuff.
South of Highway 20 in Iowa, it looks like we may escape the brunt of the storm. For instance, a mixture of precipitation is likely in the Cedar Rapids area beginning Friday afternoon. That's expected to change over to all rain before turning back to snow during the overnight Saturday morning. The National Weather Service currently expects Cedar Rapids to see less than an inch of snow.
[WEDNESDAY STORY] There's no doubt our weather has been quiet. It's definitely gotten cold the last few days but there's been zero threat of snow. I haven't even put gas in my snowblower. It's time.
Winter doesn't begin for nearly two more weeks (December 21 is the official date), but it appears the white stuff is about to fly across the Midwest.
While a little light snow is possible late tonight and early Thursday morning, it shouldn't have much, if any impact.
What's next could be a different story. The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Watches (blue) stretching from Utah all the way into Wisconsin from Wednesday afternoon through late Friday. The areas in pink are now under Winter Storm Warnings beginning either tonight or on Thursday. While the area impacted by the snow appears it will be fairly narrow, from north to south, the track of the storm is still in question. One thing about the storm isn't. Something we've become pretty familiar with...
Strong winds will accompany the storm. For areas that see snow, that could make for even more hazardous travel conditions.
Just how much snow could fall? The National Weather Service Winter Storm Watch for extreme northern Iowa calls for the possibility of up to 9 inches of snow. The Winter Storm Watch is for Friday afternoon through late Friday night.
That watch isn't yet a warning due to the uncertainty of the storm track. If the low tracks farther to the south, that means the area of snow also moves south which could cause a much greater impact on the Cedar Rapids area. For now, meteorologist Rebecca Kopelman at CBS 2 believes some significant snow is likely coming to parts of Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. Exactly where is still up for debate but one thing isn't. It's time to get the snowblower ready.