Blizzard warning issued for parts of southern Nebraska including Lincoln; Omaha to pre-treat roads
The National Weather Service declared a blizzard warning Saturday in south-central and southeastern Nebraska, including Lincoln and Grand Island.
Omaha and most of the area north of I-80 was still under a winter weather advisory Saturday as of 3:45 p.m.
An Omaha street crew was dispatched about noon to pre-treat the “major and secondary routes with brine,” Mayor Jean Stothert told The World-Herald in a text message. The full crew will begin work at midnight.
The area could see whiteout conditions overnight and into Sunday morning.
Meteorologist Becky Kern of the Weather Service said the difference between Lincoln’s blizzard warning and Omaha’s winter weather advisory should be interpreted with caution. Driving conditions will still be hazardous in the Omaha area, but more snow is expected to the south.
Late Saturday the National Weather Service revised its earlier forecast, predicting more snow for southeast Nebraska and southwest Iowa.
Based on updated computer models, the forecast called for 8 to 12 inches for that area, south of a line that stretched from just south of Lincoln toward Plattsmouth in Nebraska and across to Red Oak in Iowa.
Closer to Omaha, areas to the south of the metro area also should see more snow, said Van DeWald, a weather service meteorologist. Bellevue could see 4 to 6 inches inches, he said. Further west, toward Papillion and Gretna, slightly less could fall, about 4 inches, DeWald said.
The Omaha area in general was expected to get 2 to 4 inches, with the lighter amounts farther north.
Snowfall amounts should taper off completely in areas even farther north. Sioux City, Iowa, for example, was not expected to have any measurable snow.
“If you’re heading east toward Des Moines, or south toward Kansas City, or southwest toward Lincoln on Sunday morning, that’s bad,” Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Dergan said. “Maybe delay it a while, or leave (Saturday).”
Rain was expected to change over to snow early Sunday. Strong winds are expected.
Snowfall should diminish by late afternoon.
Traveling this weekend? Keep an eye on flights
Sunday is expected to be a busy day for air travel.
“We’re certainly watching the weather closely,” said Justin Idle, airport operations supervisor at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield.
Staff there are holding daily weather calls and will continue to check in with meteorologists at the National Weather Service.
If you’re flying this weekend, keep checking the status of your flight, and give yourself plenty of time to travel to and from the airport.
“We’re hoping it’s a minor event, but (are) preparing for the worst,” Idle said.
World-Herald staff writer Erin Duffy contributed to this report.