Snow has stopped in Omaha; now brace for the wind -
Published Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 12:07 am / Updated at 2:44 pm
Snow has stopped in Omaha; now brace for the wind

Strong winds are forecast until after midnight in the Omaha area, according to the National Weather Service.

The worst of the winds – those gusting to near 40 mph – should begin subside about 9 p.m., but winds approaching 25 mph to 30 mph are likely until 3 a.m. or so, according to the weather service.

The big news in the week ahead will be the cold.

After a break on Friday – sunshine, highs in the 40s, light winds – a strong cold front descends and will last for a week or more.

If there's a silver lining in that forecast, it's that the calendar is changing over to March, so "below average" cold at this time of year is much warmer than it was when the Polar Express struck in January. The average high at this time of year in Omaha is around 40 degrees.

Weather updates

Snow moves east

Snowfall in the Omaha area was expected to end early this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

"By about 2 or 3 p.m., it should all be east of here," said Van DeWald, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. One to 3 inches of snow had been expected.

Once the snow stops, it should be done, he said. No lingering flurries are expected.

At 11 a.m., snow had stopped falling at York, Norfolk and Columbus, he said.

"So there is an end to it," he said. About 1 inch of snow had been measured at the weather service office in Valley as of late morning, he said.

Strong winds may have been responsible for 3,623 Omaha Public Power District customer power outages late Thursday morning: Douglas County, 2,535; Washington County, 386; Sarpy County, 273; Cass County, 165; Otoe County, 199.

Thursday morning, Omaha police stopped taking reports of vehicular accidents that involved only property damage. A few accidents with injuries had been reported around the city, including at 52nd Street and Sorensen Parkway and Interstate 680 and West Dodge Road.

Omaha Metro announced it had altered its service plans in response to the weather conditions. More details.

Visibility during the afternoon commute shouldn't be an issue, despite gusty winds, DeWald said.

"It's such a heavy, wet snow. I don't think it will be a problem," DeWald said. By the evening rush, it's realistic to hope that the pavement on Interstate 80 will be nothing worse than wet.

Temperatures, DeWald said, are expected in the mid- to upper 30s during the commute.

"Once the snow ends, we'll see continued melting," he said.

Friday's temperatures are forecast to peak in the 40s. Be sure to enjoy them.

A prolonged cold spell is coming.

After a high temperature around 41 degrees early Thursday, weather service meteorologist Becky Kern said, the Omaha area can expect a low tonight of 22. Friday's high will reach the low 40s, she said, with colder air moving into the area next week. Monday's high will reach the 20s.

Conditions elsewhere

In southeast Nebraska, a thunderstorm was clocked at 50 mph moving in a northeasterly direction near Tecumseh, according to the National Weather Service. The cell could contain one-half inch hail and winds in excess of 40 mph.

The storm is expected to reduce visibility in rural areas, with near blizzard conditions, said Bryon Miller of the National Weather Service in Valley, Neb. In urban areas, visibility might be cut to less than half a mile, so expect slow going on highways.

The wet and heavy snow is expected blizzard conditions in some parts of Iowa.

As today's storm moves into Iowa, it apparently is saving some of its greatest fury for the Interstate 80 corridor, with near blizzard to blizzard conditions forecast.

Snow blowing sideways at 30 mph to 40 mph was forecast this morning. In Pottawattamie, Harrison, Monona and Shelby Counties, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., one step shy of a blizzard.

East of those Iowa counties, however, a blizzard warning is in effect from 9 a.m. today through 6 a.m. Friday.

Current conditions and forecast

Contact the writer: Nancy Gaarder    |   402-444-1102    |  

Nancy writes about weather, including a blog, Nancy's Almanac. She enjoys explaining the science behind weather and making weather stories relevant in daily life.

Read more related stories
Sarah Palin, Mike Lee coming to Nebraska for Ben Sasse rally
Prescription drug drop-off is April 26
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Rather than doing $250K in repairs, owner who lives in lot behind 94-year-old house in Dundee razes it
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
PAC funded by Senate candidate Ben Sasse's great-uncle releases Shane Osborn attack ad
Teen killed at Gallagher Park was shot in head as he sat in SUV, friend who was wounded says
NB 30th Street lane closed
State Patrol, Omaha police conduct vehicle inspections
After all his bluster and bravado in the courtroom, Nikko Jenkins found guilty of 4 murders
A recap of what got done — and what didn't — in the 2014 legislative session
Bernie Kanger formally promoted to Omaha fire chief
U.S. House incumbents have deeper pockets than their challengers
Nancy's Almanac, April 17, 2014: Trees save money
Ex-Iowan behind landmark free speech case recounts story in Bellevue
Gov. Heineman signs water bill; sponsor calls it 'landmark legislation'
New UNO center strengthens ties between campus, community
Senate candidate Shane Osborn to include anti-tax activist Norquist in telephone town hall
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Gov. Heineman calls 2014 a 'very good year for Nebraska taxpayers'
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Attorney: Man accused of trying to open plane's door needs psychiatric evaluation
49-year-old sentenced to 40-50 years for attempted sex assault of child
Brothers looking for pot sentenced for violent home invasion
At Boys Town panel, experts stress it's never too early to educate children
< >
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Kelly: Creighton's McDermotts put good faces on an Omaha tradition
A comical roast Wednesday night in Omaha brought fans of Creighton basketball laughter by the bucketful. This time it was McJokes, not McBuckets, that entertained the Bluejay crowd.
Kelly: New $24M UNO center embodies spirit of newlywed crash victim
Jessica Lutton Bedient was killed by a drunken driver at age 26 in 2010. Thursday, the widowed husband and other family members will gather with others at the University of Nebraska at Omaha to dedicate a permanent memorial to Jessica.
Breaking Brad: How much would you pay for a corn dog?
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a new concession item: a $25 corn dog. For that kind of money, it should be stuffed with Bitcoin.
Breaking Brad: Pothole repair crew gets stuck in a pothole
In East Lansing, Mich., a pothole repair crew got stuck inside a pothole. How did this not happen in Omaha?
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Dr. Welbes Natural Health Clinic
$129 for 2 LipoLaser Sessions with Additional Complimentary Services ($605 value)
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »