Meteorologists are watching the storm rolling our way for the holiday week. It could snarl travel

Meteorologists are watching the storm rolling our way for the holiday week. It could snarl travel
A storm system carrying "quite a bit of moisture" could roll into the Omaha area next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. National Weather Service

A big storm rolling in from the west coast could make its way to Nebraska as soon as Christmas night, so your trip home from grandmother’s house could be dicey.

There’s a 30 to 40 percent chance of precipitation late Christmas night, on Tuesday, according to early forecasts from the National Weather Service. Right now, the precipitation could start out as snow, said Cathy Zapotocny, a meteorologist for the weather service in Valley.

By Wednesday morning, the precipitation looks likely to switch over to rain — there’s a 70 percent chance of it. Depending on the temperature, ice could be an issue. And by the evening, there could be a rain/snow mix in the area, the weather service said.

On Thursday, the precipitation in the area is expected to switch over to all snow, Zapotocny said, although there could also be rain and thunderstorms. Right now, the heaviest band of snow looks set to avoid the River Country area. But forecasts won’t be firmed up until Monday, she said, so that could change. This far out, there isn’t a forecast for snowfall totals.

“As of now, accumulating snow will be possible, with the heaviest amounts being focused over northeast and central Nebraska,” the weather service said.

If you have travel plans on Wednesday or Thursday, you should be monitoring the forecast and be ready to make changes, Zapotocny said, especially if you’re traveling north or west of the area — like to Sioux Falls or central Nebraska, where it looks like possibly heavy snow and strong winds could make travel difficult.

Air travel shouldn’t see “too big a hindrance” because of the weather, at least in Omaha, Zapotocny said, though she cautioned that the forecast still could change as the weather system gets closer to the area.

By Friday, precipitation is likely to have dissipated. The weather service is calling for a dry forecast, but behind all the wet weather is colder temperatures.

After a couple weeks of warmer-than-average temperatures for this time of year, forecasts for Friday and next weekend now call for high temperatures in the 20s.

What to know:

» Live radar and forecasts

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» Nebraska road conditions

» Iowa road conditions

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