A winter storm boiling up out of the southern Rocky Mountains spread a swath of heavy snow and icy road conditions Sunday across western and central Nebraska.
The National Weather Service had predicted snow totals between 6 and 12 inches through Sunday. The accumulations proved to be on the lighter side with Chappell and Big Springs in Deuel County both reporting 8 inches of snow by 9 a.m.
Other snow totals included 7 inches at Oshkosh in Garden County, 6 inches in parts of Brown County and 4 inches in North Platte. Winds of 20 to 25 mph, gusting to 40 mph, hampered traffic across the western part of the state.
Traffic on Interstate 80 west of North Platte was very slow going at 10 a.m.. A World-Herald reporter traveling to Colorado reported traffic crawling along at about 25 mph west of Sutherland. The reporter also saw a semi-tractor trailer truck jack knifed and blocking both eastbound lanes of I-80 at mile marker 152.
A truck driver reported to officials in Logan County that U.S. Highway 83 had snow drifting up to 12 inches north of Stapleton. Officials in Keith County reported Nebraska Highway 61 closed from north of Ogallala to the town of Arthur in Arthur County.
The Nebraska Public Power District reported power outages to 559 customers in Bassett. Another 838 customers were without power in Atkinson as high winds moved through the area.
NPPD said power had been restored in Atkinson by 10 a.m. and in Bassett by 10:45 a.m.
The storm had been expected to leave up 12 inches of snow, according an alert from the National Weather Service in North Platte. Warmer temperatures east of North Platte, as expected, turned snow into rain.
The National Weather Service in Valley said only two-hundredths of a inch of rain had fallen between midnight and 10 a.m. at Eppley Airfield in Omaha.
Northwest winds are expected to remain blustery at 21 to 26 mph Monday in western Nebraska and decreasing to 14 to 19 mph after midnight. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-30s.
A meteorologist with AccuWeather said Omaha should remain “fairly warm” Monday with a high near 36 and sunny skies. Temperatures, he said, will bounce back into the 40s in Omaha and western Iowa on Tuesday and Wednesday with zero to 5 percent chance of precipitation.
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