Nebraska remains in the grip of a winter storm with ice, freezing rain, and snow forecast for today, depending on where you live.
Travel remains hazardous.
The Nebraska State Patrol issued the warning to motorists Sunday afternoon that travel could be hazardous after troopers and local law enforcement responded to a number of accidents caused by the icy conditions. It appears conditions will not improve until Tuesday, when a warming trend is expected.
NSP advises that if you need to travel, keep up-to-date on the latest weather forecast and road conditions. Check in with the Nebraska Department of Roads traveler information website: 511.gov.
A Nebraska 511 mobile app is also available to download at no cost for smartphone users. Simply search your app provider for Nebraska 511.
NDOR reports roads in eastern, north-central, and south-central Nebraska are partially covered to completely covered with ice. Southeastern Nebraska has a number of roads partially covered.
NDOR closed 15 miles of I-80 Sunday morning after a fiery crash of two semi tractor-trailers near Kearney. Few details have been released, though officials blame icy conditions.
“This storm is dangerous, and is creating hazardous driving conditions over a wide area,” NSP Superintendent Brad Rice said in a written statement released by NSP late Sunday afternoon. “We ask motorists in the affected areas to be prepared and aware of weather and road conditions.”
The National Weather Service in Valley reports the Omaha metro area received up to two-tenths of an inch of ice by Monday morning. Forecasters expect perhaps another tenth of an inch. It appears temperature will hover above freezing, keeping the ice accumulation Monday to a minimum. Eastern Nebraska is expected to see freezing rain throughout Monday. Western Nebraska should see snow.
Both airports in Omaha and Lincoln remain open. Airport officials, though, advise travelers to check on flight departures and arrivals before traveling to the airports. A number of flights have been canceled.
The National Weather Service in Valley forecasts freezing rain in the Omaha area until early this afternoon, then precipitation is expected to change to rain. The high in Omaha should hit 34. Up to two-tenths of an inch of additional ice accumulation is possible. Tonight, freezing rain will likely be mixed with snow and sleet with a low of 25 before giving way to gradual sunshine and a high of 35 on Tuesday.
Lincoln is expected to have freezing rain until about mid-afternoon when it will turn into mostly rain, before once again turning back into freezing rain late in the afternoon into the evening. As much as three-tenths of an inch of additional ice accumulation is expected, according to NWS forecast. The low in Lincoln tonight should hit 23. Tuesday should see mostly sunny skies and a high of 36.
The National Weather Service in Hastings predicts periods of freezing rain in central Nebraska, then a chance of snow and freezing rain by mid-afternoon. Snow is expected to fall in mid-Nebraska late this afternoon with a high right at freezing: 32. Up to three-tenths of an inch of additional ice accumulation is possible. Up to a half inch of snow could fall this evening, before giving way to sunny skies and a high near 35.
Snow is expected this morning in western Nebraska, mixed with freezing rain, according to the NWS office in North Platte. Little or no ice accumulation is expected. Western Nebraska could see one to two inches of snow before Tuesday turns sunny and warmer, with a high near 40.
Motorists in need of emergency roadside assistance can call the Nebraska State Patrol Highway Helpline when safe to do so by dialing *55 from any cell phone or 1-800-525-5555 from any landline, and report emergencies to 911.