First Snow

The first snow of the season blanket's Oskaloosa's downtown band stand. 

OSKALOOSA — Some areas of southern Iowa were spared the worst of a New Year’s Day snow, but not the bitter cold temperatures.

Generally, a large swath of southeast Iowans were measuring snowfall totals around a half-foot from the Saturday and Sunday snowfall.

As road conditions began to deteriorate Friday evening, ice on the Jefferson Street Bridge in Ottumwa was blamed for a head-on crash. No injuries were reported.

Forecasts were generally correct, though most areas received snowfalls totals on the lower end of ranges offered by the National Weather Service office in Des Moines.

A public report on social media in Wayne County’s Humeston was the state’s top snowfall report at nine inches. Pella was the next highest with a report of eight inches.

The National Weather Service logged reports of 6.8 inches in Ottumwa, 6.5 inches in Oskaloosa and Melrose, and 6 inches in Centerville. Albia saw about 5.5 inches of snow, as did Knoxville.

Weather service forecasters on Thursday had predicted the area would generally see between 6-8 inches of snow, but had warned even small shifts in the storm’s track could have big impacts in totals.

The dry snow moved easily as wind gusts neared 30 mph at times, leading to drifting across the area.

Temperatures in Oskaloosa bottomed out at minus 8 degrees, with a 10 mph northwest wind, early Sunday.

The National Weather Service says Oskaloosa will see a high of 37 degrees on Tuesday. Temperatures will cool again Wednesday down to a 13 degree high. There’s a slim chance of snow Wednesday night into Thursday while the area will stay below freezing until Saturday.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at kocker@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.

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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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