Gusty winds, heavy rain expected as storm strengthens

August 20, 2018

A strengthening storm system will dish out gusty north winds and more rain in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa into Monday, the National Weather Service said.

Tree damage is possible because of saturated soil, according to the weather service in Valley.

Rain totals of 3 to 5 inches could be fairly widespread, the weather service said. Wind gusts of 25 to 35 mph were forecast across the region, with higher isolated gusts possible.

That range of gust speeds is “normally not an issue,” for trees, said Becky Kern, a weather service meteorologist. Typically, winds have to reach speeds of 50 to 60 mph to give trees serious problems, she said. But saturated soil makes weak or top-heavy trees more vulnerable.

Omaha and Lincoln are at risk for flash flooding, along with southeast Nebraska and southwest Iowa.

The rain should stop by late morning or early afternoon, Kern said. The region is expected to get a break Tuesday and Wednesday, with chances of rain returning Thursday and Friday.

The storm system is bringing much-needed precipitation. Omaha has been running a deficit for the months of July and August.

As of 7 p.m. Sunday, the weather service reported that Eppley Airfield had received 1.43 inches of rain; Millard Airport, 1.06 inches; Valley, 1.58 inches; Lincoln, 1.86 inches; and the airport in Clarinda, Iowa, 0.18 of an inch.

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