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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

Just after the Christmas Holiday, a storm system crossed the Central Plains producing widespread rain, intense winds and snow.  Rain developed on December 26th and widespread, heavy rainfall amounts of at least one inch were observed, with several locations picking up over two inches of rain. Rainfall of 1.42 inches at Grand Island and 1.41 inches at Hastings, both set new daily rainfall records for December 26th.

A cold front arrived later that night or early in the morning on the 27th causing temperatures to plunge below freezing and causing a 'flash freeze' as wet outdoor surfaces and roads froze. 

Multiple bands of heavy snow also developed early Thursday morning (December 27th) and continued through the day. The heaviest band of snow set up roughly from Cambridge to Lexington to Greeley, NE. When coupled with northwest wind gusts of 40 to 50 MPH, many locations saw whiteout conditions for several hours.

This combination of drifted roads and poor visibility led to closures along Interstate 80 west  from Grand Island to North Platte and impacted post holiday travel. The strong winds led to scattered power outages across the area as well. Even areas that received minimal snowfall (1-2") had issues with poor visibility thanks to the long-lived intense winds. 

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