Travel conditions across much of the region have deteriorated to the point that roads officials are urging caution.
Roads in nearly all of Nebraska, northern Kansas, northern Missouri and extreme southern Iowa are partially to fully covered by snow and/or ice.
The National Weather Service has issued winter weather warnings and advisories for the affected areas.
Much of southern Nebraska has received several inches of snow from a storm system moving across the region.
The Omaha metro area dodged morning snows but is expected to see an inch or two tonight.
Further south, generally across Missouri south of U.S. 36, a sheen of ice is possible tonight should freezing rain accompany the additional fresh snow that is expected.
Whatever the amount of snow that falls tonight, it would be the most snow Omaha has gotten since the start of January.
So far this winter, Omaha has had two days with snowfall in excess of an inch: the 2 inches that fell on Dec. 8 and the 1.2 inches that fell on Jan. 1.
A more potent storm is forecast to move across the region early next week, said Tom Kines, meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc.
That storm could bring more snow than the amount that is accompanying tonight's system, he said. As the storm draws nearer, forecasters will get more precise with snow totals and areas most likely to be affected.
“The next system looks like a different animal than what we've been dealing with,” Kines said. “It looks like it's going to be able to gather a lot of Gulf (of Mexico) moisture and push it at least up into Kansas and probably Missouri. You'll have to wait another day or two to figure out whether the real good moisture will make it up to Nebraska and Iowa.”
Omaha is nearing a record dry spell for December and January, said Barbara Mayes, meteorologist with the weather service.
The snow that falls this evening would need to exceed 0.03 of an inch in water content to prevent the current two months from being the driest December-January on record, she said.
Two winters are tied for the driest December-January, said her colleague, Dave Fobert.
During the winters of 1878-79 and 1985-86, the months recorded 0.34 of an inch of precipitation, Fobert said.
The snow that has fallen the past two months has been the light, dry type. As a result, Omaha has had enough snow that this won't be a top 10 “snowless'' period, Fobert said.
The winter of 1943-44 had the least snow through the end of January: 0.1 of an inch.
Still, if January is to salvage any of its snow dignity, it needs to act this evening.
Omaha had more snow this past May, 3.1 inches, than it has had this month, based on 1.5 inches through Thursday afternoon.
For travel conditions in individual states, see: safetravelusa.com.
Live photos: Statewide road cameras
Lincoln - near 48th Street
Omaha - I-80 near 370 interchange