Weekend storm to bring ice, blowing snow; Next week's storm different and "nasty"

Staff Writer

The greatest impact for the storm moving into central and north central Nebraska tonight (Fri., March 8, 2019) is going to be on travel, according to Chris Buttler with the National Weather Service (NWS) office in North Platte. Buttler said there will be travel issues Saturday morning, afternoon and into evening due to ice, snow and blowing snow.

Snow accumulations along I-80 in western and central Nebraska should be less than an inch. From a line from Arthur to Broken Bow and north, snow of 1 inch to 4 inches could accumulate with 4-6 inches along the northern most areas.

“Winds will be strong on Saturday into the evening,” Buttler said, mainly north and east of North Platte. Gust of 45 to 50 mph can be expected. “The greatest impact will be in north central to central Nebraska,” he said. Snow from the Wednesday/Thursday storm could be part of the blowing snow, Buttler explained, if freezing precipitation doesn’t form a crust on the snow already on the ground.

Heaviest ice accumulation is forecast south of a line from Hyannis to O’Neill with Broken Bow, Bartlett and Burwell to have the heaviest potential.

Wind chills Saturday night and Sunday are forecast 7 to minus 3.

Estimated timing of the storm for western and north central Nebraska, according to Buttler, is as follows:
Freezing precipitation: 6 p.m. CST Friday to 3 a.m. CST Saturday
Snow: Midnight CST Friday to Noon CST Saturday
Blowing snow: 6 a.m. CST Saturday to 6 p.m. CST Saturday

Saturday morning will be “pretty icy,” Buttler said. Asked about Hwy 2 from Broken Bow to Grand Island for Saturday morning, he replied “It will be a dicey trip.”

Buttler called this snow a fast moving storm and added southwestern parts of the state could see sunshine Saturday afternoon. However, another storm is gathering and it’s estimating that it could impact central Nebraska beginning Monday (March 11, 2019) evening.

Buttler said next week’s storm is ‘a lot different” from the storm that moved through already this week and this weekend’s storm.

“Big,” “slow moving,” and “pretty nasty” were word he applied to the storm coming next week.

“It’s a very slow mover and has a lot of moisture,” Buttler said. It’s estimated next week’s storm will arrive Monday night beginning with rain and changing over to snow.

Buttler said the next storm is a “real wind producer” and that blizzard to near blizzard condition could develop, especially west of Valentine and North Platte. “Stay tuned,” Buttler said.