Storm Events Database

Event Details

Event Blizzard
State IOWA
County/Area PALO ALTO
WFO DMX
Report Source ASOS
NCDC Data Source CSV
Begin Date 2009-12-08 21:00:00.0 CST-6
End Date 2009-12-09 13:00:00.0 CST-6
Deaths Direct/Indirect 0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)
Injuries Direct/Indirect 0/0
Property Damage 50.00K
Crop Damage 0.00K
Episode Narrative An intense low pressure system moved into southern California during the afternoon and evening of the 7th, then tracked northeast across the central U.S. the surface low reached Kansas during the morning of the 8th, eastern Kansas by evening, and tracked to northern Illinois before sunrise on the 8th. The storm intensified rapidly, reaching 975 mb by the afternoon of the 9th as it crossed Lower Michigan. Snow broke out across Iowa during the overnight hours of the 7th into the early morning hours of the 8th. The snow continued through the day on the 8th. Northeast winds of 15 to 25 MPH caused drifting snow through the day and into the evening. Snowfall reached a inch per hour at times during several heavier waves of snowfall during the afternoon and evening of the 8th. A broad band of 8 to 16 inch snowfall totals were reported across much of the northwest two thirds of the state. Some of the heavier snowfall totals included 16 inches in Cass County at Atlantic, 15.7 inches at the Des Moines Airport, and 15.3 inches in Windsor Heights, both in Polk County. The entire CWA received at least 4-6 inches from the storm over a 36 hour period. Road conditions had become hazardous from the heavy snow on the day before. As the low moved to the east of Iowa and intensified, strong northwest winds developed across the state. Winds of 30 to 40 MPH were common with gusts of 45 to 60 MPH fairly common for several hours. A wind gust of 61 MPH was recorded at the ASOS at Estherville, while 58 MPH winds occurred at a mesonet site in Carroll. There were scattered power outages around the state, however at the peak about 8000 customers lost power. This was considerably less than the 350,000 that occurred during the blizzard in the spring of 2007. Visibility was reduced to near zero for a several hour period as there was plenty of loose snow to blow around. The winds produced 4 to 6 foot drifts in many areas, with reports in some of the rural areas of drifts of 10 to 15 feet. Roads drifted shut fairly rapidly. By the early morning hours, snow plows had to be removed from roads statewide as there was no way to keep up with the blowing and drifting snow. Interstate 35 was closed north of Ames along a 15 mile stretch, and Interstate 80 was closed along a 55 mile stretch east of Des Moines. Reports at sunrise on the 9th indicated that all rural roads in the state were closed and many of the arterial roads were closed as well. Periodically, the Interstate system was closed due to the blizzard conditions. Nearly all business in the state and all of the schools were closed on the 9th. Many schools remained closed on the 10th as well, with the list of schools closed exceeded 235 yet on the 10th. Conditions improved through the day on the 10th, however with all the extensive drifting that took place during the blizzard numerous roads remained snow clogged into the 11th. Five school districts remained closed on the 11th, and another 60 were on delayed start with no bus service beyond the main arterial roads. In the end, the blizzard and preceding snowstorm was described as the worst to hit Iowa in 40 years based on intensity and areal coverage.
Event Narrative


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All events for this episode:

Location County/Zone St. Date Time T.Z. Type Mag Dth Inj PrD CrD
Totals: 0 0 2.450M 0.00K
CRAWFORD (ZONE) CRAWFORD (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
ADAMS (ZONE) ADAMS (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
CARROLL (ZONE) CARROLL (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
TAYLOR (ZONE) TAYLOR (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
ADAIR (ZONE) ADAIR (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
AUDUBON (ZONE) AUDUBON (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
SAC (ZONE) SAC (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
CALHOUN (ZONE) CALHOUN (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
POCAHONTAS (ZONE) POCAHONTAS (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
PALO ALTO (ZONE) PALO ALTO (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
EMMET (ZONE) EMMET (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
CASS (ZONE) CASS (ZONE) IA 12/08/2009 21:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
UNION (ZONE) UNION (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
MARION (ZONE) MARION (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
WARREN (ZONE) WARREN (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
GUTHRIE (ZONE) GUTHRIE (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
GREENE (ZONE) GREENE (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
WEBSTER (ZONE) WEBSTER (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
HUMBOLDT (ZONE) HUMBOLDT (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
KOSSUTH (ZONE) KOSSUTH (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
RINGGOLD (ZONE) RINGGOLD (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
DECATUR (ZONE) DECATUR (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
WAYNE (ZONE) WAYNE (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
CLARKE (ZONE) CLARKE (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
LUCAS (ZONE) LUCAS (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
MADISON (ZONE) MADISON (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
DALLAS (ZONE) DALLAS (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
WINNEBAGO (ZONE) WINNEBAGO (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
HANCOCK (ZONE) HANCOCK (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
WRIGHT (ZONE) WRIGHT (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
HAMILTON (ZONE) HAMILTON (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
BOONE (ZONE) BOONE (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
JASPER (ZONE) JASPER (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
POLK (ZONE) POLK (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 01:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
WORTH (ZONE) WORTH (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
FRANKLIN (ZONE) FRANKLIN (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
GRUNDY (ZONE) GRUNDY (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
HARDIN (ZONE) HARDIN (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
MARSHALL (ZONE) MARSHALL (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
BUTLER (ZONE) BUTLER (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
CERRO GORDO (ZONE) CERRO GORDO (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
MONROE (ZONE) MONROE (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
STORY (ZONE) STORY (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
APPANOOSE (ZONE) APPANOOSE (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 03:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
POWESHIEK (ZONE) POWESHIEK (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 06:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
MAHASKA (ZONE) MAHASKA (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 06:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
BLACK HAWK (ZONE) BLACK HAWK (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 06:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
BREMER (ZONE) BREMER (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 06:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
TAMA (ZONE) TAMA (ZONE) IA 12/09/2009 06:00 CST-6 Blizzard 0 0 50.00K 0.00K
Totals: 0 0 2.450M 0.00K