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First taste of winter expected this weekend

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 11:46 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 23, 2020 at 7:22 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The calendar still says October and winter isn’t “officially” supposed to start for a few more weeks, but cold and snowy conditions into this weekend and early next week will give us an early taste of the coldest season of the year.

The coldest conditions of the season for central and eastern Nebraska are expected Friday night into Saturday. So far in Lincoln, we’ve reached the freezing mark several times for an overnight low, but have yet to fall below it and have a hard, killing freeze - that changes Friday night. Freeze Warnings are in place across south central and southeastern Nebraska as a hard freeze is expected across the area with lows falling into the lower and middle 20s, ending the growing season in these areas.

The first statewide hard freeze is anticipated Friday night into Saturday.
The first statewide hard freeze is anticipated Friday night into Saturday.(KOLN)
Freeze Warnings are in place for south central and southeastern Nebraska through Saturday...
Freeze Warnings are in place for south central and southeastern Nebraska through Saturday morning.(KOLN)

Saturday should be dry for most of the day with mostly sunny and cold conditions expected. Temperatures will once again stay well below average, with highs in the 30s and 40s. Winds are expected to be much lighter, out of the southeast at around 10 MPH.

Temperatures will range from the mid 30s to upper 40s on Saturday.
Temperatures will range from the mid 30s to upper 40s on Saturday.(KOLN)

Record cold is possible then on Sunday as arctic air blasts its way across the state on the backside of a potent low pressure system. Temperatures on Sunday will only reach the upper teens to upper 30s across the state with blustery north and northeast winds.

Record low high temperatures will be possible across the state on Sunday as highs will only...
Record low high temperatures will be possible across the state on Sunday as highs will only reach the upper teens to upper 30s.(KOLN)

Saturday evening and into Saturday night is when a potent October snow system is set to move across the state with snow likely beginning across western Nebraska Saturday evening before spreading south and east through the area Saturday night and through the day on Sunday with snow lingering across the area through the day on Monday.

Winter Storm Warnings are already in place across parts of western Nebraska for Saturday night through Sunday evening. These areas are expected to see the potential for some heavy snow during this time with more significant accumulations.

Winter Storm Warning, Winter Weather Advisory and Winter Storm Watch in effect Saturday evening...
Winter Storm Warning, Winter Weather Advisory and Winter Storm Watch in effect Saturday evening into Monday morning(KOLN)

For Lincoln and eastern Nebraska, lighter snowfall accumulations are expected. While snow is anticipated Saturday night, through the day on Sunday temperatures are expected to be a few degrees above freezing. Sunday afternoon will likely see a wintry mix of rain, sleet, freezing rain, and snow with precipitation turning back to all snow Sunday evening as temperatures begin to fall again.

Snowfall accumulation across the state should be highest across the northern and western sections of the state where widespread totals of 4″ to 10″ of snow are possible. Lighter snowfall amounts are expected for southern and eastern Nebraska where snow may mix with rain, freezing rain, and sleet through the day on Sunday. In Lincoln, the snowfall forecast for now calls for 2″ to 5″ of snow.

Moderate to heavy snow is expected across northern and western Nebraska with lighter amounts...
Moderate to heavy snow is expected across northern and western Nebraska with lighter amounts for southern and eastern Nebraska.(KOLN)

Models still have some differences in snowfall amounts across the state, so the snowfall forecast is still a bit murky at this time and still may change, so please make sure to stay tuned to the latest forecasts for the most up-to-date information.

Record to near record cold is then expected Monday morning and Monday afternoon as morning lows could be below zero across parts of western Nebraska, to the middle and upper teens in the east. By Monday afternoon, high temperatures will only reach the 20s across the state under mostly cloudy skies.

Through the week next week, temperatures will likely stay below average with highs in the upper 30s to upper 40s with mainly dry weather expected.

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