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Western Storm Spreads East

A western storm will slowly spread accumulating snow into the Intermountain West and Rockies, while heavy snow persists across the southern Sierra-Nevada mountains. Locally heavy rain will be possible from parts of southeastern Arizona into western new Mexico. A strong Bering Sea storm will bring an accumulating wintry mix, coastal flooding and ice shoves to western Alaska. Read More >


A powerful low pressure system passed through the Central Plains between Sunday, Jan. 21st and Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. This resulted in a fairly classic winter storm for much of the NWS Hastings coverage area, along with at least a few hours of near-blizzard to blizzard conditions, thanks to sustained northwest winds commonly 30-40 MPH and gusting to 50+ MPH, resulting in visibility commonly 1/2 to 1/4 mile or less. For places such as the Tri Cities, these were the first legitimate blizzard/white-out conditions in nearly two years, since the Groundhog Day storm of early-Feb. 2016. For the majority of the area, the overall-worst conditions occurred sometime between 4AM-4PM on the 22nd, resulting in treacherous travel due to blowing and drifting snow, sporadic power outages and a few road closures. Snow eventually departed the far eastern fringes of the local area along Highway 81 by around 6 PM. 

As far as actual snowfall, this storm will be remembered for a tremendous, north-to south variation across our local area (highest north, lowest south and southeast). See the map and tables below for the finer details, but in general, most counties north of I-80 were dumped on with a widespread 10-14", including 14" at Belgrade, 13.8" at St. Paul and 12.1" in Greeley. At Belgrade, this was the biggest snow storm in 12 years (since March 2006)! Heading south from there, the I-80 corridor counties served as a "dividing line" of sorts, with totals generally ranging from 3-8", including 3.6" at Kearney and 7.4" at Grand Island. South of the I-80 corridor and into most of north central Kansas, many areas saw much-lower-than-expected snow amounts mainly in the 1-4" range, due in part to a pocket of dry air aloft that got wrapped into the system and delayed the onset of snow. A few totals from these counties included 3.6" at Hastings, 2" at Geneva and 1.5" at Smith Center. However, there were a few exceptions of higher totals within this southern half of the area, mainly within far western counties such as Gosper/Furnas in Nebraska and Rooks in KS, where the NWS observer near Plainville measured 6.3", far higher than the vast majority of other local KS areas. 

Although snow totals fell short of forecasted expectations in the Tri Cities (especially at Kearney and Hastings), Grand Island still established new daily precipitation and snowfall records for Jan. 22. The new snow record of 7.4"easily beat the previous mark of 3.0" set in 1915, and the new precipitation record of 0.86" crushed the previous mark of 0.35" from 1982. 

(please refer to the tabs below for more detailed information regarding this event, including maps, tables and photos from our social media pages)

NWS Radar loop from 10:30 PM on Jan. 21 through 6 PM on Jan. 22. The NWS Hastings coverage area is within the orange outlined area labeled "GID" and Interstate highways are the red lines. 
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