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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 >

Ice Storm Evolution & Impacts

A strong, slow moving upper level low pressure slid northeast from the New Mexico-Texas-Mexico border region on Sunday, January 15th and Monday, January 16th, bringing the most significant icing event in 10 years to south central Nebraska and north central Kansas. 

Thanks to a nose of warmer air just off the surface and freezing temperatures at the surface, the predominant precipitation type during this event was freezing rain. During the latter portions of the event Monday afternoon, enough cold air started pushing east into the area that the precipitation type briefly switched over to sleet/snow before moving out. Any sleet or snow accumulation was minimal.

Much of the NWS Hastings coverage area (click HERE for a map) saw at least 0.10" of ice accumulation, with locations roughly east of a line from Greeley to Beaver City (including north central Kansas) reporting 0.25" or more of ice accumulation. Far southeastern portions of the coverage area saw 0.5" or more. 

Surface temperatures hovering right around the freezing mark and an overall lack of winds kept this event from having a signficantly worse impact than it did. Roads were very slick, though main roads were pre-treated. There were no widespread, long lasting power outages, and and overall tree/power line damage was relatively minimal.

The brunt of the storm arrived on a holiday, Martin Luther King Jr Day and several business and schools were already scheduled to be closed for the day. Numerous remaining schools and several churches and businesses also closed. Once the system exited to the east late on January 16th, temperatures dropped well below freezing into the teens and 20s overnight, causing refreezing on outdoor surfaces. Several schools were also closed on January 17th as side roads, parking lots and sheltered areas remained slick during the morning commuting hours. Central Nebraska Regional Airport in Grand Island and Kearney Regional Airport were both closed for a period of time on the 15-16th.

Temperatures rebounded into the 35 to 45 degree range on January 17th and melted the ice. Ice melting and falling from trees, power lines and towers created dangerous conditions at times. Ice which fell from a tower at the KSNB television station north of Hastings broke a windshield on a vehicle in the parking lot.

NWS Hastings radar loop from 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 15th - 5:30 p.m.on Jan.16th. The NWS Hastings coverage area is outlined in orange and interstates are in red.
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