I'm not going to say this is unprecedented because this is weather we're talking about, but it's at least highly unusual for blizzard warnings to be already issued for many Illinois counties and almost all of Iowa for Friday night.

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It's no secret that an intense winter storm is bearing down on Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. There are expectations that it could be a historic storm involving drastic pressure drops with high winds and possibly big snowfall. But, look at what the National Weather Service in the Quad Cities has just shared showing blizzard warnings for almost every county in Iowa and many central Illinois counties beginning 5pm Friday night, January 12, 2024.

Blizzard warnings starting Friday night at 5pm for many Illinois counties and nearly all of Iowa.
National Weather Service Quad Cities
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The snowfall totals for northeast Missouri, Iowa and Illinois have a wide range of possibilities depending on what areas get more rain and when that changes to snow after temperatures fall below freezing.

Snowfall estimates for Iowa and Illinois from Friday blizzard.
National Weather Service, Quad Cities
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It's not unusual (obviously) for the National Weather Service to issue blizzard warnings as intense storms approach, but I can't recall warnings like this being issued for Illinois and Iowa counties more than 24 hours ahead of time. Don't misunderstand what I'm saying. I think it's a GREAT thing to give those in the path of this storm lots of warning. That's awesome. I am just really surprised to see it happen so far ahead of time.

Now, we'll see how this winter weather scenario unfolds as it moves across Missouri, Illinois and Iowa beginning overnight Thursday and throughout the day Friday and into the weekend.

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Gallery Credit: Canva

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