Central Iowa residents braced themselves Friday for the first major winter storm of the season and the nearly half foot of snow that was being forecast for the Ames area.


So far this winter, little snow has fallen and temperatures have been mild. But after reaching a high temperature near 50 on Thursday, the mercury plummeted nearly 30 degrees over a 24-hour period as the storm approached.


The snow, which was expected to begin falling early Friday evening, was expected to continue into Sunday. A winter weather advisory was issued for parts of central Iowa, including Story and Boone counties, with a winter weather warning just to the east and south, including Des Moines.


For some, the forecast snow was a welcome sight.


“I like snow and I think its beautiful,” Basila Koster, a Des Moines resident who works in downtown Ames said Friday afternoon before the snow started to fall. “Driving in it of course, you’re always afraid.”


The snowy forecast meant increased business for O’Donnell’s Ace Hardware on 24th Street in Ames as residents began preparing for the storm.


“Yeah, (people) are kinda starting to freak out,” Tausha Tjernagel, the manager at O’Donnell’s Ace Hardware in Ames said Friday afternoon. “It’s been significantly busier than a normal Friday in January.”


Shovels, tube sand, and ice melt were flying off the shelves, Tjernagel said.


Tjernagal said wintry weather was bound to show up eventually.


“We had a lot of our stock in the back kind of waiting, but we are in Iowa, so we knew it was going to happen at some point,” she said.


The storm also caused Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to cancel a Friday appearance in Nevada. Another Democratic candidate, John Delaney, canceled an event in Boone Friday, and area high school sporting events also were canceled because of the storm.


The city of Ames issued a snow ordinance effective at 10 p.m. Friday. It will remain in effect until all the streets are completely plowed from curb to curb and the snow is done falling, Ames Police Cmdr. Jason Tuttle said.


“Some people get confused about when the ordinance is done. Some think that once the plow goes through they can put their car back on the street, but that’s not the case,” Tuttle said.


And with any snow fall authorities are encouraging two things.


“Plan ahead and slow down,” Tuttle said.


After dropping to a blustery low of 11 overnight with winds gusting to more than 30 mph, the high on Saturday was forecast to only reach 18 degrees, with winds reaching 25 mph. The snow and cold is forecast to continue Sunday with a high in the mid 20s. Sunshine returns on Monday with a high of 32 degrees.