National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


An expansive and multi-faceted storm system impacted the heart of the country in the middle of April 2018, bringing blizzard conditions to the northern Great Plains and severe weather to parts of the Midwest and Mississippi Valley. Western and north central Nebraska were primarily on the "cool side" of the storm with snow and high winds being the primary hazards. However, thunderstorms developed in north central Nebraska before the snow set in and produced hail.

The snow developed and the winds intensified Friday morning, beginning in the panhandle and western Sandhills. The precipitation spread east through the evening and night, where the snow was mixed with graupel (soft hail or snow pellets) and sleet at times. The heaviest snow was confined to central Nebraska on Saturday, but strong winds continued for much of the area.

The blizzard resulted in snow drifts several feet high and multiple highway closures, including I-80. In the wake of the storm, temperatures dropped into the single digits and teens the following mornings, breaking record lows. This was the first Blizzard Warning issued in the month of April by NWS North Platte since 2011. 

GOES-R satellite image from April 16, 2018, showing the leftover snowpack for Nebraska and surrounding states.


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