NWS provides update on 'big storm' coming to Nebraska

Staff Writer

“This is a big storm.” That’s what National Weather Service meteorologist Shawn Jacobs said during a weather briefing about this weekend’s snow storm. “There will be a foot or more of snow in snow areas.”

The timing of the storm hasn’t changed all that much from previous reports. Meteorologists are expecting rain to begin Friday (today, Nov. 30, 2018) and change to snow during the evening. “There will moderate to heavy snow (in central and north-central Nebraska) last tonight through Saturday night with light Sunday,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs said the change from rain to snow will most likely occur between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday evening for areas west of Hwy 83. Places east of Hwy 83 will see the change over to snow 8 p.m. or after.

There is the possibility of some ice as the rain changes over mainly in an area along and east of Hwy 83. “The transition will be very rapid,” Jacobs said and he is not expecting major impact from ice accumulation at this time however, the potential for power outages remains.

Winds will not be strong however there will be gusts up to 25 mph possible.

There is no forecast for blizzards however there will be reduced visibility, especially in the Sandhills and north-central Nebraska.

Jacobs said that the snow will start out as a heavy wet snow, much like last week.

The system appears to have move a little more east than originally forecast. There will be lower accumulations in southwestern Nebraska. I-80 from Deuel County to Lincoln County may see four to eight inches of snow, with the lesser amounts on the western end.

The heaviest snow potential is along a line from Valentine to Ainsworth to Broken Bow with maps showing 12-18 inches possible. Jacobs emphasized that snow totals are potentials and not exact forecast amounts. "Don't fixate on snow amounts," he said. "Some areas will see a foot or more. Some areas will not.”