Welcome news: Thursday brings Omaha its best chance of rain in a while.
After missing out on the widely scattered rains that have fallen across the rest of the region recently, Omaha has an 80 percent chance for showers and storms Thursday night. Until then, there's a slight chance this afternoon and during the day on Thursday.
The rain will come none too soon. Lacking any rain today, Omaha is completing one of its driest Julys on record.
According to Van DeWald, meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Thursday's rain is expected to arrive in the evening with chances intensifying after dark. At about 7 p.m. there's a 60 percent chance, and by midnight there's an 80 percent chance of rain.
“Everybody has a pretty good chance of seeing some rain,” DeWald said. “I sure hope that happens.”
About quarter to half-inch is likely, but some areas could see an inch, DeWald said.
Depending upon the timing, the rain could dampen the enthusiasm of the thousands who will be attending Jazz on the Green at Turner Park and the hundreds of cyclists headed down the Wabash Trace for the Taco Ride to Mineola, Iowa.
Jazz on the Green starts at 7:30 p.m. and will feature the jazzy blues of the Laith Al-Saadi Band. The Taco Ride runs from late afternoon until well after dark.
DeWald said thunderstorms are likely with this system, but the storms are not likely to be severe.
As has been the case recently, heavier rains are forecast to fall south of Interstate 80.
In the past week, a smattering of rain here and there has added up to 0.07 inches for Omaha.
By contrast, in southeast Nebraska: Beatrice received 1.68 inches on Monday and 0.51 inches on Sunday, Falls City received 1.34 inches Monday and 0.31 inches on Sunday, Fairbury received 1.22 inches on Sunday, and Lincoln has received 0.72 inches in the past week.
Pockets of western Nebraska was hit by severe weather on Tuesday. Hail as large as golf balls and winds of 70 mph broke out windows in cars near Crookston, according to the National Weather Service. Hail damage also occurred in the Valentine area. The storm also twisted a handful of metal buildings on the edge of North Platte.
The storm brought 2.18 inches of rain to Valentine.