Freezing rain threat north Monday into Tuesday

A quiet night is expected, but things could get icy for our northern counties later on Monday.
Published: Jan. 1, 2023 at 6:06 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A strong storm system will bring widespread precipitation to the central United States on Monday into Tuesday, with freezing rain likely on the edge between colder and warmer air.

A few winter weather alerts are in effect for parts of the KCRG-TV9 viewing area for the risk of freezing rain. Check out the latest on those here.

An area of low pressure will develop and move northeast off of the Great Plains, traveling across the state on Monday into Tuesday. This system will have access to moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, so copious amounts of precipitation are expected. For most of the TV9 viewing area, this will fall in the form of rain, with totals of at least half an inch looking pretty likely.

However, air temperatures near the surface will be colder north of U.S. Highway 20, which will lead to the development of freezing rain. This threat begins after 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday as precipitation moves in. Ice accumulation will be likely on exposed surfaces and untreated pavement, leading to dangerous travel and treacherous walking conditions.

Ice is possible in the areas highlighted in pink, with mainly rain to the south.
Ice is possible in the areas highlighted in pink, with mainly rain to the south.(KCRG)

If you live in areas north of the Highway 20 corridor, plan on tricky travel Monday evening into Tuesday. Roads will likely be ice-covered for at least part of the time. Any preparations you need to make ahead of that period of time, where you may not easily be able to travel, should be completed by late afternoon on Monday. Areas in our far northeast, such as Floyd, Chickasaw, and Howard Counties, could see ice accumulations of greater than 1/4 of an inch, which can cause tree damage and power outages.

Most precipitation winds down a bit on Tuesday, though a round of light rain or snow is possible by Tuesday afternoon. Winds will increase somewhat on Tuesday, which could exacerbate any issues with heavy ice accumulation on trees and power lines in the areas that receive this activity.

The storm system finally exits on Wednesday, but not before giving the entire area a chance at some light snow. Minor accumulation is possible that day. Temperatures will turn somewhat colder for the rest of the work week, but generally staying reasonable for this time of year.