Bitterly cold weather and the potential for Omaha's first blanket of snow is in the forecast.
After relatively mild weather on Wednesday, rain is forecast to arrive Thursday afternoon and change over to snow by about 9 or 10 p.m. according to AccuWeather, The World-Herald's weather consultant.
How much snow falls by Friday morning will depend on how quickly temperatures drop, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines.
The arriving Arctic air will be frigid, he said. Thursday's high is forecast in the upper 30s to low 40s, followed by overnight lows in the low 20s.
Kines said the odds favor 1 to 3 inches of snow by Friday morning, but there's an outside chance for 6 to 8 inches if temperatures drop quicker than expected Thursday.
“The big thing is the change to cold weather. It's going to feel pretty brutal out there Friday into Saturday,” he said.
Kines urged drivers to use caution Friday morning.
“If (the snow) materializes, it will be the first snow of the season,” he said. “That always causes more accidents -– people seem to forget that snow is slippery.”
The forecast for snow this close to a weekend raises the tantalizing possibility of sledding and cross-country skiing.
Skies are likely to be overcast Friday and temperatures would be low enough for snow to remain on the ground if a sufficiently thick blanket falls, Kines said.
On Friday, the Omaha high is likely to peak around 30 degrees. Overnight lows Friday night are likely to be in the teens.
Saturday's high is forecast in the 20s.
Churchgoers will need to bundle up Sunday morning – temperatures could be in the low teens to around 10 degrees. Later in the day, temperatures could begin rebounding; the high is forecast in the upper 30s to low 40s.