An unusual October weather pattern produced tornadoes Thursday night in eastern Nebraska even as winterlike conditions descended on the western part of the state.
One home was destroyed about a mile south of Bennet in Lancaster County, the National Weather Service reported. A Bennet resident confirmed damage to the area, saying Highway 43 through town was closed due to storm debris.
Also, a tornado was confirmed about 10 p.m. two miles east-northeast of Hickman, as the storms moved through Lancaster County.
Tornado warnings also were issued in Cass, Saline and Otoe Counties. A tornado reportedly touched down near Palmyra in Otoe County.
There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Heavy rains and large hail accompanied the storms. Radar indicated that 3 to 5 inches of rain fell Thursday night across northern Saline County and southern Lancaster County, the weather service said.
Heavy rains pounded downtown Omaha shortly before midnight.
The Omaha Public Power District reported early Friday that 4,300 customers in Sarpy County were without power. Numerous trees and power lines were reported down in the Plattsmouth area.
The storm system moving through the region will bring a dramatic change in temperatures this weekend.
In western Nebraska, a winter storm warning was in effect today for Chadron, Alliance and other towns. Strong winds and a snow accumulation of up to 9 inches were forecast in the Pine Ridge area.
Up to 5 inches of snow was possible farther south, near Scottsbluff and Gering. The weather service said rain there would turn to snow early today.
Road conditions in the region will be difficult, with low visibility and possibly icy conditions.
The system bringing a big chill to Nebraska and western Iowa means more rain for Omahans and layers of warm clothing for Husker fans.
Rain in the region is likely to continue through tonight, meteorologists said. After a 30-degree plunge in high temperatures, Saturday and Sunday will bring highs in the 50s.
Football fans can expect conditions Saturday markedly different from NU's first four games this season in Lincoln, when game-time temps spiked into the 80s and 90s.
Husker fans attending the 11 a.m. Big Ten clash against Illinois may want to bundle up against stiff winds and temperatures that will peak no higher than the low 50s.
The weather service reported the heaviest rainfall Thursday in the Neligh area, where at least 6.3 inches was reported. Oakdale, just southeast of Neligh, reported 4.1 inches, and areas northeast of West Point recorded 2.8 inches.
This afternoon into tonight, a frontal boundary should move through eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, bringing a 60 percent chance of more rain, weather service meteorologist Bryon Miller said.
High temperatures in the Omaha area today will hover near 80, Miller said, but quickly fall back to the 50s on Saturday under increasingly windy conditions. There was a slight chance of precipitation Saturday in the Omaha area.
Temperatures are likely to climb back to more seasonable highs next week, with highs in the 70s on Monday, Miller said.
Mike Wieland, based at the weather service office in Cheyenne, Wyo., said the winter storm warning was issued for today and tonight in the northern Panhandle counties of Sioux, Dawes and Box Butte. Winds in the area will blow at 30 to 40 mph, he said, with gusts reaching 50 mph.
By Saturday, temperatures in the northern Panhandle are likely to be in the 40s, climbing into the 50s Sunday through Wednesday, he said.
World-Herald staff writer Emerson Clarridge contributed to this report.