Officials urge caution on the roads ahead of winter storm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Officials urge caution on the roads ahead of winter storm

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Late January in Iowa, yet neither a jacket nor long pants necessary.

Sarah Hayes and several of her co-workers took advantage of record high temperatures in the upper 50's early Tuesday morning in Cedar Rapids.

"It's pretty rare, and with the winter storm coming tonight, we definitely have to enjoy today," she said.

However, the window to enjoy the unseasonal weather was small.  In a matter of hours, temperatures had plummeted into the 30's ahead of the projected winter storm.

"That's Iowa for you," Hayes said.

Now crews are preparing for several inches of snow, and the timing is less than ideal. Snowfall and wind gusts are expected to persist overnight through the morning commute.

"Please allow extra time and extra caution when you're driving. You're going to need to go slow." said Cathy Cutler, Transportation Planner for the Department of Transportation. "It is going to take more time to get to work tomorrow morning, so just plan ahead and be prepared."

The Department of Transportation is taking standard preparations for snowfall, ensuring all equipment are in working order.

Officials say although all plows will be out in the area, heavy traffic during the morning rush means the roads will take extra time to clear.

"One thing that happens when we get snow and the heavy commuting traffic, is that traffic will pack down the snow before we get a chance to get down there and plow it off," Cutler said.

For many it is hard to believe a winter storm is in the works some 12 hours after the morning's spring-like weather.

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