Residents of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa tasted a strange weather cocktail this weekend: unseasonal warmth and stiff south winds during the day Saturday, nighttime thunderstorms and hail, chased by a shot of cold air Sunday morning.
Fortunately, there was no ice in that mix because the precipitation moved east ahead of the cold weather.
High temperatures through much of the region were in the upper 70s Saturday, reaching 80 degrees at Holdrege and Tekamah in Nebraska and 79 at Shenandoah, Iowa. Several locations posted record or near-record highs for the date.
Winds reached speeds of 35 to 40 mph during the daytime, the National Weather Service said, while the thunderstorms produced gusts of up to 60 mph at a few locations.
Temperatures dipped Saturday night and Sunday morning as storms rolled through the area. The temperature at Omaha's Eppley Airfield fell from 66 degrees just before 10 p.m. Saturday to 46 degrees just before midnight and 35 degrees just before 2 a.m. Both Eppley and Offutt Air Force Base reported temperatures of 28 degrees just before 8 a.m. Sunday. Eppley recorded .29 inches of rain overnight while Offutt recorded .26 inches.
Temperatures are expected to rise into the mid- to upper 30s during the afternoon Sunday. Readings then should fall off to near 20 overnight before climbing to near 40 Monday, according to AccuWeather, The World-Herald's weather consultant. More seasonal highs, in the low 50s, are expected later in the week.
— Susan Szalewski