Winter Storm Forecast: Snow, ice, & rain continue to impact the state Monday night into Tuesday
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A potent winter storm will continue to roll across the state Monday night bringing heavy snow, ice, rain, and maybe even a few thunderstorms to the state through tonight and into the day on Tuesday. It should be said at the outset, that travel conditions will become very difficult as we head into Monday afternoon and evening, particularly for parts of northern and western Nebraska where heavy snow has been ongoing through the day on Monday. Into Tuesday morning, the morning commute will be impacted by snow and ice already on the ground plus additional areas of snow across the eastern half of the state. If you don’t have to be out on the roads over the next day or so, please don’t!
Winter Storm Warnings, Ice Storm Warnings, and Winter Wx Advisories cover the state Monday night and into the day on Tuesday. For Lincoln, we’re under a Winter Weather Advisory from 6 PM Monday to 6 PM Tuesday. Ice Storm Warnings are in place across northeastern Nebraska where some significant ice accumulations up to 0.50″ are possible. Ice build-up on trees and powerlines could cause power outages and will definitely make for very slick conditions on roads and untreated surfaces. Sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots in particular will be very slick. Winter Storm Warnings cover almost two-thirds of the state across central and western Nebraska. These areas are expected to see snow or ice or a combination of the two. Winter Weather Advisories border the Winter and Ice Storm Warnings across the southern and southeastern portions of the state.
Mixed precipitation has been ongoing through the day Monday, which will continue tonight across the state. Snow is expected to be heavy at times, especially for northern and western parts of the state with freezing precipitation expected for a swath of the state from northeastern Nebraska back towards south central parts of the state. It’s in this band where there is likely the greatest uncertainty for snow and ice amounts. All of it will depend on the temperature profile of the atmosphere - a few degrees cooler and these areas will see increased snow amounts, a few degrees warmer and we could see less snow and more ice. Southeastern parts of the state are forecast to see mainly just rain Monday night with some isolated thunderstorms possible. We will see a transition to all snow overnight tonight and into Tuesday morning, with eastern and southeastern Nebraska’s best snow chance coming through Tuesday morning into the afternoon.
The snowfall forecast has bullseye of heavy snow across north central parts of the state, where short range models are indicating 18″ to 24″ of snow are possible for areas like Valentine and Ainsworth. 12″ to 18″ of snow will be possible across north central and northwestern Nebraska, with 6″ to 12″ of snow possible in areas like Scottsbluff, North Platte, and into parts of northeastern Nebraska. As mentioned above, the tricky spots come as we see a transition to much smaller snowfall amounts - from northeastern parts of Nebraska towards the Tri-Cities and into southwestern Nebraska. The forecast now has anywhere from 1″ to 6″ in these areas, but depending on where temperatures go, snowfall amounts could be higher. Lincoln and southeastern Nebraska only looks to pick up a trace to 1″ of snow with this system, with our snow chances coming Tuesday morning and afternoon.
A big concern with this system is the potential for significant ice accumulation. Those areas in northeastern Nebraska, and back towards the Tri-Cities are currently forecast to get anywhere from 0.20″ to 0.50″ of ice. That much ice could cause tree and power line damage, resulting in possible power outages in these areas. It will also lead to incredibly slick conditions, particularly on untreated surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots. Again, as mentioned previously, with the combination of heavy snow and potentially heavy icing across the state, travel conditions could be perilous at times and if you don’t have to be out on the roads over the next 18 to 24 hours, please don’t!
As far as total liquid precipitation is concerned, Lincoln and southeastern Nebraska look to pick up 0.25″ to 0.75″ of moisture. Most of that will come as rain through the day on Monday, with some lingering snow into the day on Tuesday. Parts of northern Nebraska that see heavy snow, could come away with 1.00″ to 2.00″ of liquid precipitation. The system is a wet one, and all the moisture will be incredibly beneficial, unfortunately it will be causing very difficult conditions as it falls.
Again, as mentioned, a few thunderstorms can’t be ruled out through the day on Monday, and we can’t even rule out an isolated severe thunderstorm. The SPC has a marginal risk for severe weather in extreme southeastern Nebraska with large hail and damaging winds as the primary threats. The general thunderstorm outlook though covers most of the 10/11 coverage area, meaning that areas of thundersnow and maybe even “thunder-ice” will be possible at times on Monday. If we do see enough instability to cause some lightning in areas that are seeing snow or freezing precipitation, it could greatly increase the potential snow and ice amounts in those areas!
As far as temperatures are concerned, this is not a “cold” system as temperatures look to actually be fairly seasonal for this time of year. Thanks in part to a blanket of low clouds and the low-pressure system still bringing some milder air further to the north, low temperatures tonight will only fall to the low to mid 30s for southeastern Nebraska. Cooler temperatures are forecast on the backside of the low for central and western Nebraska, where temperatures should drop into the low 20s to near 30° by Tuesday morning.
High temperatures on Tuesday won’t be overly cold, with temperatures reaching the mid 20s to mid 30s for most. Lincoln and southeastern Nebraska will likely see high temperatures in the mid to late morning hours with temperatures falling back to the mid to upper 20s in the afternoon as the low-pressure system finally slides off to our east, turning our winds to the north and northeast. Winds will be breezy into the afternoon, sustained at 15 to 25 MPH with gusts as high as 30 to 40 MPH possible.
The extended forecast has a lingering chance for some light snow into Wednesday but should be generally dry for the second half of the week and into the weekend. Temperatures look to be a bit up and down, ranging from the upper 20s on Wednesday to the low 40s on Friday before falling back to the low to mid 30s for the upcoming weekend.
Copyright 2022 KOLN. All rights reserved.