Snow falls across much of Nebraska with about 12 inches expected in some regions through Sunday
Rain began changing to snow in the Omaha area about 7 p.m. Saturday, with some locations reporting a rain-snow mix.
The precipitation then changed to all snow, with 1 to 3 inches expected to fall by morning and an additional inch or so on Sunday.
Parts of southwest Iowa could see as much as 6 inches through Sunday, the National Weather Service said.
Areas north and west of Omaha had significant snowfall Saturday.
As much as 14 inches had fallen in Cherry County, in far north central Nebraska, by late Saturday, according to reports submitted to the weather service.
North-central Nebraska was expecting 8 to 11 inches of snow through Sunday, with higher amounts in some areas, the weather service in North Platte said Saturday afternoon.
Similar amounts were forecast for northeastern Nebraska.
Omaha saw slight amounts of snow Saturday morning, but most accumulation was to come Saturday night into Sunday, the weather service office in Valley said.
Some 6 p.m. snow totals in Nebraska included 2.5 inches at Norfolk, 0.20 of an inch at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield, 0.30 at the weather service office in Valley and a trace in Lincoln.
Cars were sliding off roads midday in Omaha, an emergency dispatcher said. Most accidents were on the highways, she said.
Most roads were at least partially covered with snow or sleet, according to Nebraska 511, outside of Grand Island, Lincoln, Omaha and southeastern Nebraska.
By 11 p.m. road conditions deteriorated and traffic collisions picked up.
Omaha police stopped responding to crashes involving just property damage, asking drivers to exchange information and move any vehicles blocking traffic to a safer location.
An ambulance became stuck at the bottom of two hills near North 40th and Ida Streets, unable to climb either. The ambulance did not have a patient and was returning to its station. But it had to wait for city street crews to arrive and treat the streets, according to a 911 dispatcher.A short while later, a police cruiser was briefly stuck near North 38th Street and Bedford Avenue, according to 911 reports.
The storm gave Nebraska State Patrol troopers a busy day. The patrol tweeted that it had responded to 23 crashes and performed 77 motorist assists by late Saturday.
Much of Nebraska was in a winter weather advisory, while northern and some central areas were in a winter storm warning.
“Be aware of the forecast,” weather service meteorologist Katie Gross said. “It’s going to be a pretty dynamic system … there could be a lot of changes, even roads may change from where you are to where you’re going.”
The most significant amounts of snow were in western and northern Nebraska early Saturday afternoon.
Some Nebraska snow totals reported to the National Weather Service by late Saturday afternoon and evening included:
14 inches in Cherry County by 10 p.m.11 inches near Mullen at 4 p.m.9 inches near Bassett at 10:40 p.m.9 inches near Thedford and near Stapleton at 5:30 p.m.7 inches near Springview at 9:30 p.m.6.5 inches near North Platte by 9 p.m.5.5 inches at Valentine at 5:30 p.m.4 to 5.5 inches in Custer County at 7:35 p.m.3.8 inches at Greeley at 8:30 p.m.2.9 inches in the Kearney area at 6 p.m.1.5 inches at the Grand Island airport at 6 p.m.1.6 inches at the National Weather Service in Hastings at 6 p.m.
Both Hastings and Grand Island saw record rainfall for Dec. 1 by just 6 a.m. Saturday. Grand Island had 1.21 inches, and Hastings had 0.89 inches, according to the National Weather Service office in Hastings.