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NEWS 1.2.23: Ice and Winter Storm Warnings Expected to Impact Siouxland

National Weather Service/Sioux Falls Office
Jeff Chapman of the National Weather Service talks to SPM's Sheila Brummer about the incoming storm at 2:10 p.m. on January 2, 2023.
NEWS 5PM 1.2.23

The weather is the big concern in Siouxland today. Jeff Chapman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls talked to Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer about the latest on the forecast and what Siouxland could expect with this potential winter/ice storm. Parts of Siouxland are under either an Ice Warning or Winter Storm Warning. The following interview took place on Monday, January 2, 2023 at 2:10 p.m.

JEFF CHAPMAN: While the weather we're certainly going to be taking a downhill slide as we go through the remainder of the afternoon and the evening hours, there is an area of precipitation developing across eastern Nebraska right now sliding to the north. And that's mainly been in the form of some light rainfall. But the temperatures to the north are below freezing at the surface. And this will cause areas of freezing rain to develop as we go later into the afternoon and especially into tonight. Well, the thing about this storm is there's little questions, there's plenty of moisture in the system. The biggest questions right now are going to be whether there's a longer period of freezing rain, a little sleet or all snow. I’m much more confident in the snow as you go further into South Dakota, much more confident about the freezing rain as you head into northwest Iowa and points to the south and east a little bit. But that area between the two, kind of not quite sure what to expect for exact amounts of either the freezing rain or the snow at this point.

REPORTER: How about the Sioux City metro area?

JEFF CHAPMAN: At this point in time, we're looking for some significant ice accumulations again to begin this evening. Right now, we're looking for by the time things change over to snow. During the day tomorrow, we're gonna see around a quarter to an inch, maybe some areas getting closer to a half inch ice accumulation. And that can be particularly devastating to trees and powerlines. And just generally trying to get around.

REPORTER: What time do you expect that ice to start coming? And then what time do you think it could switch over to snow?

JEFF CHAMPLAN: Well, there is some currently some precipitation moving northward through eastern Nebraska rain reported close to Tekamah and a few reports of moisture around Norfolk and Wayne as well, that we'll be moving into the Sioux City area as we go into the middle portions of the afternoon.

REPORTER: And how much snow could we get?

JEFF CHAPMAN: Well, it is going to be a balanced event and that there'll be multiple types in there, it looks like the freezing rain is on the front end of the system, as we go through tonight and into the first part of tomorrow, then we should see conditions change over to snow. And it looks like in the Sioux City area itself, somewhere in that two-to-five-inch range depending on where you go. But if you had to the north and west, the amounts will increase rapidly and drastically to the point where we're expecting anywhere from a foot to maybe a foot to half to two feet as you go towards south central South Dakota.

REPORTER: Wow, this sounds like kind of a challenging storm to forecast. Is that the case? Or I guess it just depends on the temperature.

JEFF CHAPMAN: Yeah, the real challenge with the system is how the temperature stack up as you go up in the atmosphere. The plate is easy when it's stays cold enough that it's all snow, you don't have to worry about those different types. In this case, we're dealing with temperatures that are very marginal for either being a liquid type or the solid type. And that zone between which unfortunately kind of slices across almost extreme southeast South Dakota, extreme northwest Iowa and parts of northeast Nebraska and make it very difficult to determine the exact amounts of snow that we're expecting.

REPORTER: We also cover over into the Great Lakes area, what does it look like for that portion of Siouxland?

JEFF CHAPMAN: Again, that portion of northwest Iowa over toward the Iowa great lakes is going to be pretty dominated by the freezing rain type, especially as we go into tomorrow. tonight, tomorrow, freezing rain looks extremely likely. We will have ice accumulations, probably getting up closer to that third to a half an inch over there. And then going through the day tomorrow, we'll see a gradual transition over to some snow. And on top of things. The ice that we get initially, again, that areas likely to see something in that two-to-five-inch range.

REPORTER: This seems to be a challenging season so far this winter.

JEFF CHAPMAN: It's definitely been an active season. So far, a lot of significant storms. I think this is the third or fourth one now that we've had since December.

REPORTER: Is there any reason for that? I know we did experience a la Nina weather pattern.

JEFF CHAPMAN: Yeah, we're just kind of in an active pattern right now. And as long as the flow remains out of the Southwest that allows the moisture returned into the area, and the systems moving out of the southwestern US to increase in strength and move across the area with enough cold air in place to generate that wintry precip.

REPORTER: Seems like we missed most of the major snow here in Sioux City. But if you look at what we got last year, I think we've maybe already surpassed that already. We had what less than five inches here (last season).

JEFF CHAPMAN: Last season was amongst the least amount of snow ever on record for the Sioux City area. Now already I know this month, we've had areas that have been either the second or the third snowiest so far for any December. So, we just kind of flipped the page and we're looking at the other side now which is a lot more hazardous for trying to get around and these winter months.

REPORTER: We can use that moisture because we've been in extreme drought too.

JEFF CHAPMAN: Yes, yes, any moisture is good moisture at this point.

REPORTER: Anything else you'd like listeners to know today?

JEFF CHAPMAN: Just to make sure that with the conditions were expecting out there that you either delay your travel plans over the next day or two, or at a minimum make sure to check the road conditions with Safe Travel USA.

News release from the City of Sioux City:

Garbage and recycling collection will not occur tomorrow, Tuesday, January 3, due to impending weather conditions. Expect a one-day delay with Tuesday collections to begin on Wednesday with the remainder of the week to be completed by the end of Saturday. Monday collections should be completed today.

The Citizen’s Convenience Center at 5800 28th Street will be also closed on Tuesday, January 3. Contact Gill Hauling at 712-279-0151 with questions.