Northwest Iowa — About a week before the official start of spring, a late winter storm dropped significant amounts of snow on northwest Iowa overnight Sunday into Monday.
The precipitation began as rain in most areas, before changing to snow here in far northwest Iowa. Sheldon reported a total of 5.5-inches of the heavy, wet snow as of 7:00 am Monday, while Sibley’s whopping 8-inches led the way for amounts in northwest Iowa. In Rock Rapids 6-inches of snow fell, while Orange City reported between 4 and five-inches. Sustained winds of around 25 miles per hour, with gusts sometimes reaching more than 50 miles per hour, often made exact snow depths a challenge to measure, we’re told.
The snow and winds cause many area schools to cancel classes and activities for Monday. Several area manufacturers started their day shifts late to allow employees time to get dug out and safely make it to work. Some retailers remained closed Monday, as well.
Area law enforcement officers were kept busy with vehicles in the ditch, along with a few traffic crashes around the area.
Looking ahead, we see another slight chance for snow Wednesday into Wednesday night. But starting Thursday, partly to mostly sunny skies are forecast for the rest of this week. Temperatures are expected to top out in the mid-40s on Thursday, warming to near 60 by Sunday, which, coincidentally, is the first official day of spring.