A clear sky gives us a chance to see where snow is on the ground during the winter months. It also can reveal where there is more snow in one spot than another. You can see that in Black Hawk County on the visible satellite from Thursday afternoon. A narrow band of heavier snow on the ground was located southwest to northeast (brighter white color).
A red line is drawn roughly where the axis of that band would be. I went back to the CoCoRaHS web page for the morning of January 1 to see how much snow was reported in Black Hawk County. The image on the bottom left is Black Hawk County and the snow reports. The red line on the satellite image is also put in the location on the map to the left. Along that line, 1-2″ of snow was reported. Northwest and southeast of that area 0.5″ of snow was reported.
Now go back to the satellite image and you can see the brighter white area is where the 2″ of snow was reported and more of a light gray color on either side of that axis with about 0.5″ of snow.