Severe weather possible today; I-80 closing in western Nebraska

April 11, 2019

A strong spring storm, packing heavy snow and high winds, could bring thunderstorms to the Columbus area.

The Storm Prediction Center has areas to the south and west of Lincoln included in an enhanced risk for severe weather, with hail and high winds the primary threats.

Storms are expected to form over south-central Nebraska and north-central Kansas around 6 p.m. and move rapidly to the northwest, forecasters said.

The threat of severe weather and snow extends through Thursday for Colubmus.

The western half of the state, meanwhile, is preparing for a spring blizzard that forecasters warn will disrupt travel and complicate operations for farmers and ranchers.

A blizzard warning covers the entire state west of a Bloomfield-to-Beaver City line. Up to a foot of snow is possible over a wide area, with winds reaching 60 mph.

An area from Ogallala in southwest Nebraska through the Sandhills to Valentine is expected to be hit hard.

With snow falling in Wyoming, the Nebraska Department of Transportation planned to close Interstate 80 west of the Interstate 76 interchange at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Westbound lanes are shutdown at Ogallala.

Snow began over extreme northwest Nebraska on Wednesday afternoon and was expected to expand to North Platte and Burwell by Wednesday night.

Blizzard conditions could extend to Lexington on Interstate 80 by Thursday morning.

The snow will expand south and east into Thursday evening, but no accumulation is expected in the Lincoln area.

In Columbus, temperatures will gradually fall to a low of 28 Thursday night.

Friday’s high will hold in the 40s before temperatures rebound into the 50s for the weekend.