I just sent an email to our reporters who’ll be covering the weather Sunday in Nebraska. An ice storm is coming and for parts of the state it will be very bad.
Hi Everyone –
Here’s where things stand tonight. The storm begins to enter Nebraska Sunday morning, moving in from Kansas. Raindrops will fall into subfreezing temperatures at ground level.
For those who’ve never seen an ice storm, EVERYTHING gets coated. Forget about driving. Enough ice will bring down trees and power lines. This is not the same as sleet which falls as ice pellets.
By noon the freezing rain should be lightly falling through our Southern Nebraska cities. The past few model runs have ‘favored’ the Grand Island area with the most ice, enough to do significant damage. Meanwhile Beatrice, Fairbury and the Missouri Rover cities see a bit less, but still substantial.
Columbus then Norfolk get the ice in evening. It should be lighter in Northeast Nebraska. Based on current guidance it looks under 1/4″, but pretty close.
Weather forecasts have improved greatly in my 30+ years, but this is a particularly gnarly forecast. Ice storms demand many more parameters be accurately predicted. A small shift in the middle of the atmosphere can bust a forecast. And it kills me!
By tomorrow the High Resolution Rapid Refresh model will pick up the storm. It updates every hour, looking at the next 24, with spatial resolution that’s a little crazy. It will guide me as we draw closer. It literally does the physics for individual raindrops (we call them hydrometeors) as they free fall through the atmosphere.
Be safe. It is easy for a storm like this to get ahead of you.