Heavy rain, snow expected in Nebraska on Wednesday as winter storm blows in

December 26, 2018

Near record precipitation is possible across parts of Nebraska on Wednesday into Thursday as a moisture-rich winter storm moves across the central U.S.

The storm was to arrive in Nebraska overnight Tuesday primarily as rain.

Most of eastern Nebraska and Iowa could see 1 inch to 2 inches of rain from Wednesday morning through Thursday evening.

On Thursday, strong winds and a few stray thunderstorms could make metro-area residents wonder if the seasons are following the calendar.

Winds will be out of the south, so the high could reach 50 degrees in Omaha on Thursday before cold air moves in. Anyone traveling in the eastern part of the state Thursday night into Friday should watch for light freezing rain, the weather service warns.

Forecasters are warning of the potential for pooling water in low-lying areas and quick-rising creeks and streams.

In western Nebraska, a winter storm warning has been issued and travelers should be prepared for hazardous conditions, said Levi Blanchette of the North Platte National Weather Service office.

Like eastern Nebraska, the western half of the state should see largely rain during the day on Wednesday. But Wednesday night, rain will transition to a wintry mix, possibly freezing rain and then snow.

Four to 12 inches of snow is possible over a thin glaze of ice in some areas of central-western Nebraska from Wednesday evening into Thursday. Winds gusting to 40 mph will produce blowing and drifting snow, according to the weather service, especially Thursday into Thursday night.

“Definitely take caution,” Blanchette said.

The storm is tracking from eastern Colorado diagonally across Nebraska, southwest to northeast, into the eastern Dakotas and Minnesota. The heaviest snowfall is expected from central Nebraska into central South Dakota.

Travelers are advised to check forecasts and road conditions. Road reports are available by calling 511 and online at safetravelusa.com.

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