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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 >

Overview:


Click on image for link to radar loop, starting at 1:30 PM Friday,
December 28th and ending at 7 PM Sunday, December 29th.
The NWS Hastings coverage area is outlined in orange with "GID"
in the middle, the interstates are in red.

Between the evening of Fri. Dec. 27 and the early-morning of Mon. Dec. 30, a powerful and complex winter storm brought a wide variety of weather to the NWS Hastings coverage area. Most notably, this storm dumped 4-13" of snow within several counties mainly along/north of Highway 6 and along/west of Highway 281, as northwest winds frequently gusting 30-50+ MPH promoted significant blowing/drifting and resultant travel issues. In addition, liquid equivalent precipitation totals (from combined rain+snow) proved quite impressive for late December, with most places receiving at least 1-2". Put another way, some places saw as much precipitation from this one weather system as would "normally" be expected through the entirety of meteorological winter (Dec-Feb)!

Snow highlights (see tab below for more info and totals):
The highest totals of 8-13" focused from the Tri Cities area north and westward, highlighted by 13.2" near Arcadia, 13" at North Loup and 12.2" in Ord. In the Tri Cities, Kearney "crushed" the other two cities with 11.1" (Grand Island and Hastings "only" tallied 3.7"). The majority of snow fell during the evening and overnight of the 28th into the morning of the 29th. However, widespread light snow and strong winds of 30-50+ MPH persisted through the day of the 29th and into the morning of the 30th, which is when blowing/drifting snow impacts peaked in intensity. Many motorists became stranded overnight (some for several hours) as several highways closed due to drifting and near-blizzard conditions. This included Interstate 80 from Grand Island westward, which closed around midnight on the 30th and did not fully re-open until late-afternoon. 

Total precipitation highlights (see tab below for more info and totals: 
The vast majority of our 30-county area received at least 1-2", with the highest concentration of amounts over 1.50" focused from the Tri Cities south and eastward.
A few of the very-highest local amounts occurred in north central KS, included 2.78" near Lebanon and 2.34" in Plainville. Although there was some light accumulation of freezing rain within roughly the northwestern 2/3 of our area, most icing occurred on elevated surfaces and did cause major travel issues (compared to the snow). Fortunately, the ground was not frozen, allowing the substantial winter rain to soak in and not cause flooding. The steadiest/heaviest rain occurred during the evening-overnight hours of the 27th into the 28th, a full 24-hours before significant snow materialized. 

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

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