Warm, windy weather for Wednesday before winter returns with a vengeance
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Warm and windy spring-like weather is expected for the day on Wednesday, but winter weather will throw us another upper cut on Thursday with cold, windy, and wet conditions expected across the region. Peering ahead to the weekend, cold and dry conditions look to continue as our run of below average temperatures looks to march on.
Look for quiet weather tonight and into the day on Wednesday as skies will be mainly clear to start the overnight period before partly to mostly cloudy skies return into Wednesday morning. By the afternoon, look for a mix of sun and clouds to go along with very warm and windy conditions across the state. Clouds look to thicken back up with rain showers developing in western Nebraska by late Wednesday night ahead of next winter system. South winds will be quite strong through the day with sustained winds at 15 to 30 MPH with gusts as high as 50 MPH possible into the afternoon.
Winds won’t be quite as strong during the overnight hours, but even still, a bit of a southerly breeze will help keep overnight lows pretty mild. Look for temperatures to bottom out in the mid 30s for most of the state by early Wednesday.
Temperatures by Wednesday afternoon will surge into the 60s to even low 70s thanks to the strong southerly winds. While a return to more spring-like temperatures will be welcome, it will come with enhanced fire danger with dry and windy conditions across the state.
Things start to go downhill as we head from Wednesday night into the day on Thursday as our next winter storm begins to move into the area. A strong cold front will sweep across the state, sending temperatures tumbling. “High” temperatures on Thursday will likely come during the morning for most locations, with falling temperatures into the afternoon. Lincoln and southeastern Nebraska will likely see temperatures in the 40s by early Thursday before seeing those temperatures fall to the upper 20s to low 30s by the afternoon. Wind chills by the afternoon for most will likely fall into the single digits, teens, and low 20s!
To go along with the falling temperatures, VERY strong winds are expected behind the front with winds swinging from the south to the north and northwest. Look for winds to potentially gust between 45 and 55 MPH behind the front.
On top of the falling temperatures and very windy conditions, we’ll also be looking at wet weather on Thursday. Rain showers are expected to develop late Wednesday night and into the overnight hours ahead of the front. Rain will quickly changeover to snow with the falling temperatures across the region, with the potential for a flash freeze as roads will be wet before temperatures tumble below freezing. As we see precip transition from rain to snow, we could see a brief period of heavy mixed precipitation that will likely make for very slick conditions across the area. As we transition then to all snow, the strong winds will create areas of blowing and drifting snow, as well as areas of reduced visibility. Several hours of blizzard-like or blizzard conditions are possible across parts of the state into Thursday evening. As it stands now, the Thursday evening commute looks like it could be the most impacted for the eastern half of the state.
Total snowfall amounts are still up in the air, as models continue to advertise several solutions. What we will likely see is a band of heavier snow setup on a northeast to southwest axis - the question is where that band will set up and how much snow could we see. There is a high likelihood that we see a several hour window where we could see some pretty heavy snow. A limiting factor in snowfall amounts is that the system is forecast to move through the area fairly quickly, putting a cap on potential snowfall amounts.
Past Thursday, the weather turns cold and dry for Friday and into the weekend. Temperatures begin to moderate, but still stay a few degrees below average into early next week as astronomical spring begins.
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