JOHNSTON — Even though temperatures were in the 50s and 60s Thursday, there will be a time down the road, perhaps soon, when snow arrives in Iowa — and lots of it.

Meteorologist Chad Hahn at the National Weather Service in Johnston says they’re launching new guidelines which stipulate how winter storm watches and warnings are issued, based on the amount of snow that’s predicted to fall.   “Up across Iowa and all points north is going to be six inches or higher,” Hahn says. “As you go south, as you would expect, towards the Gulf Coast, that criteria decreases and so the change is really to account for these climatological differences across the country.”

Hahn says the differences won’t be all that noticeable for the winter storm forecasts that are being issued in Iowa.  “Really, the only change is that we did have a time restraint on the warning criteria before, and it was so much in a certain number of hours,” Hahn says. “We’re peeling all that back to simplify it and we’re just really going to be focused on a winter event.”

Learn more about the change at www.weather.gov/dmx.