OTTUMWA — A winter storm watch has been issued for Friday that includes much of Iowa, as forecasters increasingly expect several inches of snow to fall and impact travel conditions.
As of Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service's Des Moines office says there is about a 90% chance of two-plus inches of snowfall on Friday for the Ottumwa area. There's about a 40% chance of more than six inches of snow.
There are wide ranges in forecasts for Friday's snow because forecasters are still trying to pinpoint the storm's exact track.
Confidence is growing that there will be measurable snow during the day that will impact travel, however.
The winter storm watch includes Wapello, Davis, Appanoose, Monroe, Mahaska and Marion counties. It goes into effect Friday morning and will remain in effect until late Friday night.
Forecasters believe there is a chance of heavy snow producing 4-8 inches of accumulation across central and western Iowa, with locally higher amounts likely. Easterly winds are expected to be in the 10-20 mph range, with gusts up to 30 mph.
Mild weather for January is expected to last through Thursday before the snowstorm arrives. Forecasters say temperatures in Ottumwa will top out at 38 degrees on Thursday, with a low of 25 degrees. Temperatures on Friday will reach a high of 33 degrees with a low of around 18 degrees.
Once the snow arrives, temperatures are expected to stay below freezing until Tuesday's high of 35 degrees.