With snowy, wintry weather in the forecast after Christmas, travelers on the roads are well-advised to pack a winter emergency supply kit.
The National Weather Service in Omaha advised this morning that people should take an emergency kit no matter how far they’re traveling.
“You never know how the weather might impact your plans,” the local office advised on Twitter.
Here are some recommended items for an emergency kit to carry in your car, as recommended by the Weather Service and Nebraska Department of Transportation:
» Your mobile phone with a charger
» High energy food such as granola bars
» Bottled water
» Car battery booster cables
» Blankets or sleeping bags
» Extra clothing to keep dry
» A flashlight with extra batteries
» First aid kit
» Tool kit with a knife or multi-purpose tool
» Duct tape
» Cigarette lighter or matches in a waterproof container and candles
» Sand or cat litter to create wheel traction
» A portable shovel
» A windshield scraper and brush
The latest forecast calls for a powerful system to hit the nation’s midsection Tuesday evening and last into Wednesday, said Becky Kern, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.
“It’s a huge system,” Kern said, “and it will basically be like a big bowling ball across the middle of America after Christmas.”
The moisture-rich system will be accompanied by sharply falling temperatures. Most of the central part of the country will be affected by one type of weather or another.
To the north of Omaha, travelers headed to the Dakotas and Minnesota could encounter a full-blown winter storm with windy conditions making visibility difficult.
West of Omaha, travelers between here and the Rockies also could encounter winter driving conditions.
And to the south and east of Omaha, severe weather — thunderstorms and tornadoes — is possible.
Omaha itself is likely to see rain and slush, she said, assuming the current forecast holds.
“For us, it’s a little bit of a wild card,” she said. “It might just be a lot of rain in eastern Nebraska.”
The system will be fast-moving, she said. The latest forecast calls for it to move out of the central United States by Thursday.