Meteorologists are watching the storm rolling Omaha’s way for the holiday week. It could snarl travel

December 24, 2018

A big storm rolling in from the West Coast could make its way to Nebraska as soon as Christmas night, so your trip home from grandmother’s house could be dicey.

In Omaha and Lincoln, there’s a 30 percent to 40 percent chance of precipitation late Christmas night, Tuesday, according to early forecasts from the National Weather Service. The precipitation could start out as snow, said Cathy Zapotocny, a meteorologist at the weather service’s office in Valley.

By Wednesday morning, the precipitation looks likely to switch to rain — there’s a 70 percent chance of it.

Depending on the temperature, ice could be a problem.

And by the evening, there could be a rain/snow mix in the area, the weather service said.

On Thursday, the precipitation in the area is expected to be all snow, Zapotocny said, although there could also be rain and thunderstorms. Right now, the heaviest band of snow looks set to avoid the Omaha area. But forecasts won’t be firmed up until Monday, she said, so that could change. This far out, there isn’t a forecast for snowfall totals.

“As of now, accumulating snow will be possible, with the heaviest amounts being focused over northeast and central Nebraska,” the weather service said.

If you have travel plans for Wednesday or Thursday, you should be monitoring the forecast and be ready to make changes, Zapotocny said, especially if you’re traveling north or west of the area — like to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, or central Nebraska, where it looks like possibly heavy snow and strong winds could make travel difficult.

[Read more: With wintry weather in Nebraska’s forecast, emergency supply kit for cars are a must ]

Air travel shouldn’t see “too big a hindrance” because of the weather, at least in Omaha, Zapotocny said. But she cautioned that the forecast could still change as the weather system gets closer to the area.

By Friday, precipitation will likely have dissipated. The weather service is calling for dry conditions, but behind all the wet weather are lower temperatures.

After a couple of weeks of higher-than-average temperatures for this time of year, forecasts for Friday and next weekend call for high temperatures in the 20s.

What to know:

Live radar and forecasts: Omaha.com/weather Flight status at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield: Flyoma.com Nebraska road conditions: 511.nebraska.gov Iowa road conditions: 511ia.org

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