Today is a First Alert Day: Winter Storm, Blizzard Warnings In Effect

Published: Dec. 19, 2020 at 5:49 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2020 at 5:50 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A First Alert Day has been issued for Wednesday, December 23rd. Blizzard Warnings have been issued for northeastern Nebraska and northwest Iowa through 9pm. A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for the Omaha metro and surrounding areas through 9pm. Although snow amounts are expected to be relatively light, wind gusts of 45-55mph will create blowing and drifting snow along with the potential for whiteout conditions late this morning into the evening.

Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings for Wednesday until 9pm
Blizzard and Winter Storm Warnings for Wednesday until 9pm(WOWT)

After an unseasonably warm start to the week, a powerful blast of winter will arrive today. Temperatures near 50 at Midnight will fall into the 40s by the morning drive, with a sharp drop into the 30s and 20s through the rest of the morning. We’ll likely see temperatures dip into the teens by the afternoon and evening with wind chills approaching zero. Along with the push of cold air, wind gusts on Wednesday will crank up from the northwest 45 to 55 mph. The cold air rushing in, paired with the very gusty winds, will drive wind chills into the teens by the late morning before falling to near zero by the evening. The actual air temperature will then drop down into the single digits and lower-teens Wednesday night with some wind chills below zero possible.

Wednesday Wind Chill
Wednesday Wind Chill(WOWT)

In addition to the shock to the system that the temperatures and winds will bring, light snowfall is possible. There won’t be a lot of moisture to work with, so snowfall accumulations look to be around an inch for the metro area. A brief burst of rain to snow looks more and more likely between 6 and 9am Wednesday morning before changing over to on and off light snow through the rest of the morning and afternoon. Some slightly heavier amounts up to 2 inches or even an isolated 3 inch amount are possible north and west of Omaha. Even with low precipitation amounts, when you add the wind, blowing snow can be a visibility concern for travelers, especially where more than an inch of snow falls. Highway 30, Highway 275, I-80, and other roadways north and west of Omaha could see whiteout conditions or drifting snow during the afternoon.

Wednesday Snow Potential
Wednesday Snow Potential(WOWT)

Keep track of the 10-day forecast, including Wednesday’s First Alert Day, by downloading the WOWT First Alert Weather App:

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