Pella Chronicle

February 20, 2013

Storm shifts to later Thursday


OTTUMWA — Twenty-four hours ago, the National Weather Service expected Thursday's snowstorm to arrive in southeast Iowa after 7 a.m.

That's still technically correct, but the arrival has been pushed back to after noon.

Forecasts for this storm began with definitive predictions of snow several days earlier than is common. But the exact path of the storm, thus its arrival time, was uncertain. It now appears the snow will start falling in the afternoon hours, about five hours later than earlier thought.

Snowfall forecasts vary widely. The National Weather Service expects 3-5 inches from Ottumwa to Knoxville, and 3-7 inches at Centerville. But the graphic used for the forecast indicates 5-8 inches in the Ottumwa area, with 6-9 inches possible as you move closer to Des Moines. is expecting 6-10 inches in a band from Knoxville to Ottumwa, twice as much as the National Weather Service, and 4-8 inches at Centerville.

The Weather Channel's forecasts for the last storm were the most accurate, and some in southeast Iowa may be hoping for a repeat performance. They're predicting 1-3 inches of snow for most of the area, with a slightly higher 2-4 inches in Centerville.

The bottom line: Everyone is predicting snow. How much? Well, you can pick the forecast you favor.