February 17, 2014

Maybe you shouldn't have shoveled today.

The wintry punch this morning - a storm that coated Carroll with a thin layer of ice and topped it with a fluffy 1.6 inches of snow - gave way to a kiss of spring, with an expected snow-melting high temperature of at least 40 degrees.

And sun.

"It's really bizarre to start the day with this wintry mix and then have a sunny, warmer afternoon," said Kurt Kotenberg, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Johnston. "Not a cloud in the sky by sunset."

Temperatures warmed and crossed the freezing threshold of 32 degrees in Carroll about 10 a.m. The high temperatures for Tuesday and Wednesday are predicted near 50 degrees.

Snowfall this morning in Carroll ended by 7 a.m. and left slick conditions in the city and county. Major highways were still completely covered with snow by late morning, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Carroll schools started two hours late.

Carroll Police officers responded to two minor crashes this morning, officials said. One was a hit-and-run at the intersection of U.S. Highway 30 and Grant Road, which knocked over one of the traffic signals.

Information about crashes on rural roads was not available this morning because the Carroll County Sheriff's office - along with all county offices - were closed today for Presidents Day, although deputies were still on patrol.

Kotenberg said falling snow early this morning initially melted on its way to the ground because air near its surface was above-freezing. But the ground itself was below-freezing, so the rain turned to ice. Later in the storm, cooler air displaced the warm air, which allowed the snow to fall unabated and blanket the ice.