Blizzard warning today

A blizzard warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for much of central and northern Iowa. It is set to be in effect from 9 a.m. today to 6 a.m. tomorrow.

The warning, issued on Wednesday at 10:56 a.m. expects rain to spread through portions of the state, including Hamilton County, tonight and into early Thursday morning. That rain will transition to a wintery mix before noon. Then, moderate to heavy snowfall is expected with strong winds this afternoon and into tonight.

Between five and nine inches of snow are possible today, with up to two inches of snowfall per hour also possible. Near whiteout conditions are expected at times tonight. The warning said the weather will make traveling extremely dangerous.

“Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kid with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle,” the warning said.

Gusts up to 50 miles per hour are possible.

Friday is expected to bring partly sunny skies.

Due to predicted conditions, a snow emergency was declared for Friday, beginning at 6 a.m. All vehicles must be removed from the streets by 8 a.m. Parking will not be allowed on the residential streets until both sides of the street have been plowed..