A big warm-up comes today, but more changes come tomorrow

March 30, 2023 Morning Forecast
A big warm-up comes today, but more changes come tomorrow.
Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 8:09 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2023 at 8:50 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A warm front will lift north into the area today. By the end of the afternoon, the front will dissect the area from Southwest Nebraska to Northeast Nebraska. Much of the area will see mostly cloudy skies, but it will still warm up quite a bit. The warmest temperatures will be south of the warm front as they climb into the mid 60s to the mid 70s. South winds win these areas will be strong at 15 to 30 mph. Some gusts over Eastern Nebraska may get to 40 mph. Meanwhile, north and west of the front, it will be warmer than yesterday, but cooler than other areas. Highs will reach the mid to upper 50s and lower 60s. Wind won’t be as strong on those areas. Along the warm front, showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop around or shortly after sunset (8:00pm). These look to develop over Central Nebraska near Highway 92. These will then lift to the northeast through around or shortly after midnight. These storms could reach severe criteria with large hail the main threat with the strongest storms. The main threat for severe weather will be from around North Platte/Lexington to O’Neill/Norfolk. Meanwhile, winds will remain strong overnight out of the south and that will keep temperatures mild...until a cold front pushes east across the area around and after midnight. Behind the front, winds will become west and northwesterly, but they will lighten up a little behind the front. Meanwhile, Northern Nebraska may start to see more rain move behind a second cold front. That rain will start to change to freezing rain and then snow as you go to the west as colder temperatures move in.

During the day Friday, areas of Eastern Nebraska that will initially be mild in the 60s early in the morning will see a drop in temperatures into the 40s and 50s as winds become northwesterly. Farther west, highs will only be in the 40s. In Northern Nebraska, highs will only be in the 30s. Northwest winds across the area will get stronger and stronger as the day goes on. Snow will continue to spread east across Northern Nebraska through the day. Meanwhile, farther south, a little bit of rain, possibly mixing with snow will move across the area. In fact, I would rule out a little convective rain or snow with some lightning. This could lead to just a bit of surprise snow accumulation in Central Nebraska. But the bulk of the activity will be over the northern third of the area. It does look like the worst of the weather has shifted north into South Dakota where a blizzard is expected tomorrow. That said, blizzard conditions will still be possible around the Niobrara River valley. This will continue through around midnight or so Friday night. Snow amounts of 1 to 4 inches will be possible over Northern Nebraska, but the situation looks a lot worse in South Dakota where as much as 1 to 2 feet of snow may fall. With winds ramping up through the day, the strongest winds will come during the evening with northwest winds 25 to 40 mph and some gusts 50 to 60 mph. These winds will slowly start to subside after midnight and into Saturday morning as the storm system moves on our of here. By Saturday morning, lows will mostly be in the 20s.

Saturday will start chilly, but will feature a nice warm-up. Slightly breezy northwest winds will continue to lighten, then pick up a little out of the southwest later on. Highs on Saturday afternoon will range from the mid 50s northeast to the mid 60s southwest. Sunday will be a much nicer day as highs range from the upper 50s north to the mid 70s southeast. Cooler temperatures will then dive southward on Monday, but it will still be fairly seasonable. Highs will range from around 50° north to the mid 60s southeast. Another strong area of low pressure will then move into the area Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. The latest track of the surface low keeps it over western and northern parts of the area. What this could mean is that a large part of the area will be in the dry slot. That will keep the best chance of snow Tuesday into Wednesday over western and northern parts of Nebraska. Meanwhile, rain and thunderstorms will remain well to our east. Ahead of the low, winds will be quite strong on Tuesday out of the south. But to the northwest, the winds will be more northerly. This will lead to a wide range in high temperatures from the 30s northwest to the 70s southeast. Colder air will then work into the area on the backside of this storm system with highs in the 20s, 30s, and 40s from northwest to southeast. Following this storm system, temperatures will slowly recover through the end of the week and by Easter weekend, temperatures should be closer to average.