YES VIRGINIA, THAT WAS A CRAZY STORM...
The March Lion roared Monday as another big storm pounded the Midwest. This one packed quite a punch over my area as it produced a wide variety of weather including thunderstorms (thundersnow), sleet, freezing rain, snow, heavy rain, and high winds. Doppler rainfall estimates show some parts of eastern Iowa may have seen over 2" of precipitation. Note the red below in parts of Cedar and Jones County.
The NWS in the Quad Cities set a daily rainfall record with 1.08" of rain. The old mark was 1.04 set in 1946. My gauge in NE Cedar Rapids measured 1.16".
I also had about 2/10" of ice on trees and bushes. Here's a picture. I could hear the ice crackling in the winds that gusted 45-50 over my area.
The storm was so dynamic it that thunder and lightning occurred on and off for a 15 hour period. The transition to snow in many areas was accompanied by thunder and snow rates of an inch per hour. The heaviest snows have been reported from NE Iowa into Wisconsin and Minnesota where 5 to as much as 10" fell.
Here's a larger perspective showing the harder hit parts if Minnesota and Wisconsin through 8:00pm Monday night.
Believe it or not, we're not entirely done with the storm yet. The upper air circulation will drift southeast through SE Iowa Tuesday bringing another period of forcing. While moisture will be much less occasional light snow is expected and winds will be on the increase again later in the day (nothing like Monday though). You can see the whole process in the animation below which ends at 9:00pm Tuesday.
For much of my area temperatures will sneak above freezing so it does not appear there should be much in the way of travel problems. Most areas will see an inch or less but there's a hint of banding that could lead to some higher totals up to 2", especially north of the upper support. The high-res 3k NAM shows this for potential snow totals.
After this moves out things will quiet down and remain chilly the remainder of the week. Another system is possible over the weekend but there's little agreement on how the phasing takes place (if at all). More to come in the days ahead. Roll weather...TS