Residents of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa awoke Sunday morning to find 2 to 3 inches of snow on the ground, and a meteorologist said cold weather will keep on coming.
“We’re seeing large-scale weather patterns that we usually don’t see in the spring,” said Evan Duffey of AccuWeather. “Left over from the winter is an active jet stream and it’s taking longer than usual to calm down. There’s a lot of strange things going on because the jet stream has been so active.”
Active enough over the past 24 hours to leave 4.5 inches of snow in Norfolk, 4 inches in Stanton and 4.7 inches in Kearney. In Iowa, Sioux City, reported 5.2 inches of snow and Mondamin recorded 4 inches.
Although the Nebraska City region received only around an inch, blowing snow still reduced visibility Saturday night. Streets were slick, and bridges were icy.
A vehicle slid into a Nebraska State Patrol cruiser on westbound Interstate 80 near I Street about 10:40 p.m. No injuries were reported.
The reason for our recent not-so-springlike weather? The jet stream is pulling air from different places and when those air masses collide — watch out. Cold air coming down from the Dakotas is expected to meet warm air moving up from New Mexico and Texas on Friday night.
“That will bring more snow into Nebraska late Friday and early Saturday,” Duffey said. “It looks like it will be a light accumulation, though.”
The weather will improve in the short term, he said, with a high temperature of 47 predicted Monday “when the sun comes back out.” Still, that will be well below the average temperature of 64 for mid-April.
“Tuesday will be better with a high (temperature) pushing close to 60 degrees,” he said. “But Wednesday there will be another cold front with high temps largely in the 30s and winds gusting from 20 to 30 mph.”
The high temperatures Thursday and Friday are expected to be in the 50s, Duffey said. Just when things are looking sunny, the jet stream is expected to bring more rain mixed with snow Friday night into Saturday.
“It’s just going to take some time to balance out the jet stream,” he said. “The long-range forecast is for May to be cooler than normal. In general, it’s going to be cooler than normal all spring.”
Records for cold temperatures have been falling across Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service. On Saturday, Grand Island and Hastings shattered daily records for the coldest April 14 high temperature. Grand Island’s high was 31 degrees. The previous record was 35 in 1986.
Hastings’ high was 30. The previous record was 40, set in 1993.