October 24, 2014

First snowfall of year, first since February, coming our way (AUDIO)

Nebraska should see its first significant snowfall since February beginning sometime tomorrow.

State Climatologist Al Dutcher with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says it appears the largest snowfall will occur south of Interstate 80.

“Even though, right now, we’re predicting the southern half of the state to have the best odds, those across the northern half should pay attention as this forecast changes we may see that snow spread much to our north,” Dutcher tells Nebraska Radio Network.

Dutcher forecasts two-to-four inches of snow to fall south of I-80, but says some portions of the state could see as much as eight inches of snow fall. Western Nebraska is expected to get hit by snow and wind, causing blizzard conditions.

“Well, I think the general consensus is that it’s probably going to be two to four inches across a broad section of south-central, southeast Nebraska and some of that in western Nebraska might be a little more difficult to measure since we’ll are talking about winds in excess of 35 miles per hour, creating blizzard conditions,” Dutcher says. “So, there will be a lot of snow movement.”

Dutcher says the key issues for this storm will be the temperature when the snow falls and just how wet the snow will be.

“If it tends to be a wetter snow that will to some extent limit the amount of snow movement, but it won’t stop it,” according to Dutcher.

If the temperature falls into the mid-20s when the snow begins to fall, it will be a fluffier snow which the wind will push into drifts. Warmer temperatures could produce a wetter snow that won’t move as easily.

“But, overall, it does look like we’re going to see a good swath of snow and I do expect that some areas of the state will receive somewhere in the six to eight inch range,” according to Dutcher.

Dutcher doesn’t expect this storm to linger, but does expect a second round of winter to hit around Christmas Day.

AUDIO: State Climatologist Al Dutcher with UNL talks to Brent Martin about the coming snowstorm. [8 min.]