Kids, cross your fingers and get those sleds ready – the season's first snow could fall this weekend.
There's also good news for those worried about the parched landscape. Midweek brings a chance for rain.
The warmest year on record and one of the driest has left kids and the landscape hungry for both.
Becky Kern, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Valley, said forecasts are still in flux, but there's a possibility of a good rainfall on Thursday. The latest forecast indicated .10 of an inch, but Kern said more than that could fall.
An approaching cold front should drop temperatures low enough that a weekend round of precipitation could fall as snow, beginning Saturday night, she said. The big question is whether temperatures will remain low enough for the snow to stick around.
Snow is possible from Saturday night into Monday, but the latest forecasts also indicate that the daytime high on Sunday could be around 40 degrees.
Omaha is three weeks behind normal for its first measurable snow of the year, which typically falls by Nov. 13, according to the weather service.
Even though last winter is remembered for its lack of snow, the metro area is well behind last year. Kern said Omaha saw its first snow last year on Nov. 2. And by a year ago this weekend, three snowfalls, totalling more than 7 inches, had occurred.
Working against snow this year has been continued warmth and drought.
We'll see warmer-than-usual temperatures for at least another week or 10 days,” said Barbara Mayes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Valley. [Note] “A lot of the time, people are hurrying to get their outside decorations up before Thanksgiving because it's usually getting colder by the day. That hasn't been the problem.”
Mayes said 2012 has been the warmest on record, with low temperatures often above normal highs.
That was the case Sunday night into Monday, with the overnight low of 45 degrees at Eppley Airfield. Normal daytime highs this time of year in Omaha are around 39 degrees and overnight lows 20 degrees.
Monday's high in Omaha neared a record when temperatures peaked at 62 degrees. The record for the date was 64 degrees, Kern said.
Kathleen Cue, a horticulturist withe University of Nebraska Extension in Douglas and Sarpy Counties, said the rain and snow will benefit the landscape because trees and shrubs are still active metabolizing nutrient even though they've gone dormant.
They need about an inch of moisture to get them through the end of the month, so if that much falls with the rain or snow, then yards should be good, she said.
If not, she advises, water by that amount and then re-evaluate in January. The ground has not yet frozen, so a gentle rain or watering will soak in.
Staff writer Kevin Cole contributed to this story.