November 28, 2014

Cold, cold fall doesn’t necessarily equal cold, cold winter (AUDIO)

Ken Dewey/Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Ken Dewey/Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska at Lincoln

A frigid fall doesn’t necessarily mean a nasty winter.

And yes, this fall has been as bad as you thought.

“It was like a plot in a bad movie where you take the wrong exit and then you start getting chased by all these villains. Autumn definitely took a detour and a wrong turn,” state Climatologist Ken Dewey with the University of Nebraska at Lincoln tells Jack and Dave in the Morning on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.

Dewey says a strong typhoon which formed in the Pacific Ocean drove cold air from the Artic to the lower 48, ushering in an early winter.

Dewey says while temperatures plummeted this fall to record lows across the nation, weather is returning to a more normal, albeit drier pattern. Dewey says Nebraska isn’t plunging into winter, and it’s not going back to a polar express either.

He says the cold, cold weather this month doesn’t necessary mean we will have a nasty winter.

“Will we make it to Christmas without any major snow? That’s difficult to forecast,” according to Dewey. “It’s just our winter signal right now seems to be that we’re going to have back and forth cold and warm, but a drier than normal winter.”

AUDIO:  Brent Martin reports [:50]

Flood warning issued for south-central Nebraska near I-80

Nebraska Dept. of Roads camera near Grand Island

Nebraska Dept. of Roads camera near Grand Island

The threat of flooding has risen near Grand Island.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for Hall County. An ice jam has formed in a channel of the Platte River. Water is backing up south of Interstate 80. It is feared that floodwater could swamp businesses on the south side of I-80 at Exit 312.

The National Weather Service has scheduled the warning to expire at 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon.

Prep winter survival kits now for home & car

Snow on carThe freezing temperatures Nebraskans are enduring this week should serve as something of a warning shot from Mother Nature to get properly prepared for the winter ahead.

Liz Dorland, spokeswoman for the Red Cross chapter in Omaha, says all motorists across the region should have an emergency kit in their vehicle’s trunk or back seat.

The kit should include things like: a warm blanket, waterproof boots, socks, hats, gloves and sand or non-clumping kitty litter for extra traction should you get stuck.

Dorland says you might also toss in a shovel.

It’s a wise idea to have another emergency kit assembled for the house, in case you get snowed in. The home emergency kit should include many of the same items that are in the vehicle’s kit.

She says, “Make sure you have extra food, bottled water, flashlights, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio would be great to have.” Also, make sure to have a cell phone charger handy.

While winter may still be six weeks away, Dorland says it’s a smart plan to be prepared well ahead of time.


Bitter cold, snow descend on Nebraska

SnowWhat a difference a day makes.

Bitterly cold temperatures swept into Nebraska overnight, bringing a bit of snow with it, making for a white Veterans Day.

Temperatures plummeted throughout the state.

It was 58 degrees in Omaha on Monday; 28 today. In Lincoln, the high Monday reached 56 degrees. The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 29 today. Grand Island had a high on Monday of 50 and is expected to have a high today of 23.

The Panhandle has taken the brunt of the cold. On Monday, the high in Scottsbluff hit 52 degrees. It will struggle to get to 17 today; actual temperature, not the wind chill.

The National Weather Service expects lows in Nebraska this evening to dip down to 7 to 14 degrees in eastern and central Nebraska. Out west, temperatures will plunge to between five above and five below.

This arctic blast out of Canada is expected to settle in for the week. It slowly is moving its way across the country.

Snow fell throughout Nebraska, but just enough to make things white. Snow accumulations are much deeper north of us. St. Augusta, Minnesota reported 16-and-a-half inches of snow.

Mild weather pattern may bring farmers longer harvest season

Corn combineWhile parts of the Nebraska panhandle got two inches of snow last week, most of the state’s been enjoying relatively mild weather so far this November.

Extension climatologist Elwynn Taylor says if the weather pattern holds, most farmers in the region should have at least a couple more weeks to complete the harvest.

“It’s cooperating with us. We’re going to have drier-than-usual conditions, it looks like,” Taylor says. “Things just don’t look bad for finishing up the harvest.”

One of the reasons for the mild weather is due to what’s known as an “El Nino” weather pattern, which Taylor describes as “moderate” in strength.

If it persists into the new year, Taylor says it will bode well for the remaining winter months and the start of the next growing year.

“Once we get past Christmas and New Year’s, if we still have a moderate El Nino and it’s still looking up to strength, it will likely go on right into at least the early part of the growing season and we would consider that good news,” Taylor says.

If the El Nino pattern continues, Taylor says there’s a 70% chance for higher-than-normal corn and soybean yields in 2015.