Much-needed, drenching rain is headed to Nebraska and Iowa next week.
Daniel Nietfeld, meteorologist at the National Weather Service, said it's possible that the Omaha area could receive an inch or more as a large, slow-moving storm crosses the Plains. Most of the precipitation is likely to fall as rain, he said. But as temperatures drop on the backside of the storm, some could fall as snow.
Nietfeld said the rain is likely to start Sunday night and the snow, if it occurs, is likely on Wednesday. The storm system might also be accompanied by severe weather.
Today, though, is forecast to be warm and windy. Today's high in the Omaha area is expected to be in the upper 60s and by this afternoon, winds could be gusting to 30 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Tonight brings a slight chance for an isolated storm.
The track of next week's storm system isn't set, so the bulk of it could go farther north or south, Nietfeld said.
"Either way, it's a really wet system," Nietfeld said. "It'll be our first shot at severe weather, and it will bring quite a bit of rain to the area."
The National Hydrometeorological Prediction Center is projecting that most of Nebraska and Iowa could receive at least three-quarters of an inch of rain, and that an inch or more is possible in some areas.
One of the areas of highest rainfall potential appears to be northwest Missouri, with correspondingly high amounts in southwest Nebraska and southeast Iowa. That could change if the storm track moves, but the center projects that the nexus of Nebraska-Iowa-Missouri could get two inches or more.
Nietfeld said this region might see some severe weather, but isn't in the bulls-eye that confronts areas further south.
"A lot of times with these systems in April, we can get enough instability where a few of these storms work their way up here, but the bigger outbreaks are likely to be in Kansas," he said.
AccuWeather meteorologist Dale Mohler said the system could be a boon to the drought-parched Plains.
"The storm with its rain, snow and thunderstorms next week could bring some relief to a significant portion of severe and exceptional drought areas of the Plains," said Mohler, who specializes in agriculture and weather.