Portions of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri could see whiteout conditions overnight and into Sunday morning due to a strong winter storm that will bring widespread snow.
The National Weather Service office in Omaha/Valley issued a blizzard warning Saturday afternoon for south-central and southeastern Nebraska, southwest Iowa, and northwest Missouri. The warning is in effect from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday,
Meteorologists say the heaviest snow is expected to be in southeast Nebraska, southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri where 8 to 12 inches could fall in towns such as Nebraska City, Falls City, Beatrice and Red Oak. Lincoln is expecting four to six inches.
A blizzard warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.
Omaha and most of the area north of Interstate 80 was still under a winter weather advisory Saturday as of 11:45 p.m. Two inches of snow is in the forecast for this region.
Winds of 25 to 40 mph will make driving conditions “pretty bad” regardless of the snowfall amounts, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Dergan.
“If you’re heading east toward Des Moines, or south toward Kansas City, or southwest toward Lincoln on Sunday morning, that’s bad,” Dergan said. “Maybe delay it a while, or leave (Saturday).”
After rain tonight, snow is forecast to begin in Nebraska City after 5 a.m. Sunday morning. Snowfall should wrap up by 11 a.m., Dergan said.
“That’s when the winds will be pretty strong as well, so even though you don’t have falling snow, you might have some blowing snow,” Dergan said.
Temperatures will fall 24 degrees by 5 p.m.
Traveling this weekend? Keep an eye on flights
Sunday is expected to be a busy day for air travel.
“We’re certainly watching the weather closely,” said Justin Idle, airport operations supervisor at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield.
Staff there are holding daily weather calls and will continue to check in with meteorologists at the National Weather Service.
If you’re flying this weekend, keep checking the status of your flight, and give yourself plenty of time to travel to and from the airport.
“We’re hoping it’s a minor event, but (are) preparing for the worst,” Idle said.
Follow Hunter on Twitter: @TheBurnRadio
World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.