March 24, 2018
Initial Target: Mason City
Features: Thundersnow, 2+ inch/hr snow rate
Summary: Fun trip, difficult driving conditions.
A late season front with plenty of moisture available was forecast to move through northern Iowa and southern Minnesota. Snowfall projections were off the charts! Timing-wise, it looked like evening rain would turn to snow as the cold front moved through around 11pm, with heaviest snowfall and accumulation to be in area of Mason City.
Zach, Brennan and I took two vehicles and headed to a hotel in Mason City to wait for the snow, and just as forecast, around 11pm the rain turned into heavy wet snow with large flakes. It was accumulating quickly, and we saw thundersnow – a rare treat. Around midnight we headed out to shoot video. The roads were already treacherous with a few inches of snow. Luckily there weren’t many vehicles out on the road. We returned to our hotel to get a few hours of sleep before heading out at 4am to shoot more video and do live field reporting for KCCI TV.
When the event was over, there was a record 17.1 inches of snowfall near Mason City.
Below pics of the snowfall and of Zach and I editing video at 5am in our hotel lobby.