Extraordinarily low wind chill values of 20 to 25 degrees below zero are forecast for the Omaha metropolitan region tonight.
The city's high on Saturday was 21 degrees, recorded at Eppley Airfield just after midnight. Since then, the temperature has been falling. The top wind gust was 38 miles per hour, recorded about 1 p.m.
Between 8 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1.3 inches of snow fell at Eppley, the National Weather Service said.
Clear skies and slightly warmer temperatures, not higher than 15 degrees, are expected for Sunday. "Emphasis on the word 'slightly,' " said David Pearson, a weather service meteorologist in Valley.
Temperatures are to climb Monday into the 30s.
"That should feel a lot warmer," Pearson said.
Flight delays, event cancellations and traffic accidents plagued the region Friday night and Saturday.
They accompanied a winter storm system that brought ice, snow and bitterly cold temperatures to Omaha overnight into Saturday morning.
And things are only going to get worse for the beleaguered metro area, the National Weather Service says.
The storm rolling through this weekend will bring "dangerous" temperatures and bad driving conditions, said Barbara Mayes, a NWS meteorologist in Valley.
"Keep in mind, the cold isn’t just cold. It’s dangerously cold," she said Saturday.
Several flights were canceled or delayed out of Eppley Airfield last night and this morning.
A few flights also were delayed or canceled coming into Omaha this morning, according to the airport’s website. Most of the flights affected were through Denver or Chicago.
A Saturday night concert by the Lauren Anderson Band and Katy Guillen & The Girls at the 21st Saloon in Omaha was canceled, as were the Pathfinder Chorus Christmas charity concerts in Fremont and Omaha.
Lincoln’s forecast is similar: Expect an inch or 2 of snow, maybe more, and falling temperatures throughout Saturday. Lincoln’s wind chill tonight could get down to 24 below.
The Salvation Army, which operates warming stations for the homeless during particularly cold days, won’t have any stations open tonight.
Susan Eustice, a spokeswoman for the Salvation Army, said the organization doesn’t have the disaster relief staff to keep such warming stations open on weekends.
Mayes said drivers should be leery of all roads – even those that look like they’ve been treated. With such low temperatures, streets don’t stay thawed for long, she said.
"Expect your roads to be icy today," Mayes said.
Several Interstates and highways – Interstate 80 between Lincoln and Omaha, Interstate 480 and Interstate 680 – were listed as "partially covered with snow" by the Nebraska Department of Roads Saturday afternoon.
But the number of traffic accidents were down Saturday. By midday, the heavy stream of calls that inundated authorities Friday night had slowed, and Omaha emergency dispatchers said police were back to responding to all incidents.
Friday was so busy that authorities in Omaha and Lincoln stopped responding to all but the most serious accidents.
No major accidents were reported in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area or surrounding counties during the first part of Saturday. Friday night, one person died in a an accident near 186th and State Streets, according to Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The car left State Street, hit a tree and caught fire, said Lt. Rob Jones.
A passer-by reported the crash just after 6 p.m. By the time the fire was extinguished, the car was burned so severely the make and model were unrecognizable.
Determining the victim’s identity will be a lengthy process, the Sheriff’s Office said.