The first big winter storm is supposed to hit Iowa today. Iowa won’t be the only state affected, though – the storm is expected to cover a 1,000-mile range. States affected include Utah, Michigan, Tennessee, Missouri, and Indiana.
The National Weather Service announced winter storm warnings for Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Heavy snow is expected in these states, with some areas predicted to receive over a foot of snow.
The storm will impact the states differently. Sioux City is expecting 3-7 inches of snow, while Sheldon could get a potential 10 inches of snow. Other states may not even get snow at all. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes are expected for Tennessee, Indiana, and Missouri.
Travel will be difficult in the states affected by this winter storm. Visibility will be low, and roads could ice up. Anyone traveling through a state with a winter storm warning is advised to check for updates before commuting.
It seems that this winter has otherwise been off to a mild start in the Midwest. Temperatures in Sioux City this week reached 63 degrees. Temperatures in Des Moines will stay above freezing, but not by much. Temps are expected to reach 39 degrees, and the city will get less than an inch of rain and snow.
Remembering Winter Storm Uri
As winter rolls around again, we can’t help but think of the tragedy that Winter Storm Uri brought to the Southern U.S. earlier this year, especially Texas. A rare chance to see snow accumulation quickly turned deadly as temperatures continued to drop and power blackouts persisted. Power outages and the loss of running water lasted for days. Along with being unable to use utilities, groceries were scarce, and damage to homes was common.
69% of Texans lost power during the storm, which lasted from February 14th-20th. Almost half of Texans lost access to water as well. The blackouts in Texas were the largest in the U.S. since 2003. With 210 fatalities, it is the deadliest winter storm on record since the 1993 Storm of the Century. The most common causes of death were hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning, and car crashes. Even indoors, temps were below freezing.
The storm caused weather advisories across the U.S. and caused a predicted $130 billion worth of damage.
Preparing for Snowstorms
If anything, this year has taught us to expect the unexpected. If winter weather is coming your way, do your best to prepare. Have emergency kits in your car and home. If not well insulated, weatherproof your home. Make sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working.
We know that winter weather can sometimes happen in an instant, but checking any National Weather Service updates may provide you with enough time to prepare. Stay warm and safe out there.