Weather update by National Weather Service 11 a.m. Friday 2/22/19

Staff Writer

The snow accumulation totals in the forecast through Saturday have been decreased very slightly by the National Weather Service (NWS) office out of North Platte.

However, winds will cause blowing and drifting snow beginning Saturday morning, according to Bill Taylor, NWS.

“The big thing is the increasing winds,’ Taylor said. “There won’t be much wind tonight…they will pick up with 45 mph gusts Saturday morning.”

While the snow may not be as much as previously thought, Taylor said significant snow accumulation is still expected.

In the North Platte, Stapleton and Broken Bow area, total accumulation could be 4 inches will locally higher amounts. Bands of snow are moving north from Kansas over central Nebraska and this could cause spots of more snow. “There could be higher amounts in Custer, Frontier and east Lincoln counties to Butte and O’Neil,” Taylor said.

At this time, up to 0.15 inch of ice may be possible from southwest Nebraska through Central Nebraska and up to northeast Nebraska. “It doesn’t take much ice to cause travel difficulties,” Taylor said. “It probably won’t be heavy ice to bring down power lines …(but) it takes very little to make things slick for travel.”

The most significant blowing and drifting snow will be on Saturday beginning after 6 a.m., with high wind gusts in the 40s from Ogallala, North Platte, Broken Bow, Burwell to O’Neill. Even higher winds will be in Kansas. “It will really be howling down in western Kansas,” Taylor said.

“There is potential for freezing drizzle anytime (this afternoon and evening),” Taylor added. For the remainder of the afternoon (today, Friday, 2/22/19), there will be a mix of freezing drizzle and snow, transitioning to all snow overnight.

There will be blowing snow Saturday morning and through the afternoon. Falling snow will taper off in the later afternoon Saturday however, blowing and drifting could continue.

Most of Nebraska is covered by a Winter Weather Advisory with some counties in the far southwest and southeast included in a Winter Weather Watch. High temp in North Platte, Broken Bow and O’Neill should be around 30 degrees. Overnight, lows should be in the twenties in the same area and dropping to the teens in the Sandhills with single digits possible in far northwestern Nebraska.

Sunday is forecast to be mostly sunny with high in the upper 10s to low 30s.