State climatologist Ken Dewey with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says the strength of this storm is the key and he calls is a very powerful storm.
“So this will be a system that’s typical of our March blizzards in Nebraska where the very corner of the state will probably have thunder snow and then there will be a raging mid-winter blizzard off in the center of the state,” Dewey tells Jack and Dave in the Morning on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
National Weather Service radar tells the tale. A fairly sizeable band reported as blizzard conditions enters the state from the southwest, continues through the heart of Nebraska, and exits through the northeast, toward the corner of the state bordering South Dakota and Iowa. Lesser amounts of snow, but still heavy, fall just outside that band.
Reports of a foot of snow have come in from north of Sidney already.
Dewey expects southwest and central Nebraska to get hit the hardest. Grand Island seems to be in the bull’s eye of this storm. We could see a foot of snow or more there as well as Fremont, Norfolk, and Columbus. Omaha and Lincoln might be spared the huge snow totals, though forecasts call for anywhere between five and ten inches of snow with fiercely blowing winds.
Southeast Nebraska might escape the worst of it.
A blizzard warning has been issued for central and northeast Nebraska by the National Weather Service.
“And a blizzard doesn’t refer to the amount of snow,” according to Dewey. “It refers to the blowing snow and the sustained wind speeds above 35 miles an hour.”
Dewey cautions against driving in these conditions and warns Nebraska residents to be careful digging out of this snow. It should be wet and heavy. He advises taking breaks while shoveling. The warnings and watches for this snow storm do not end until midnight Wednesday.