Lake-effect snow. Record cold snap. Thank goodness Nebraska’s Arctic outbreak is nearly over.
Nebraska? Not Buffalo, New York?
Yes, the outbreak of Arctic air that has the nation talking about lake-effect snow in the Northeast has left its own mark on Nebraska, albeit in a much less dramatic fashion.
Lake McConaughy generated a dusting of lake-effect snow — rare in Nebraska. And Valentine is ending its coldest stretch on record for this time of year.
There’s good news for everyone, though. Warmer Pacific air is due to move in, and this frigid cold is on its way out.
Bruce Terry, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service at College Park, Maryland, said the atmospheric ridge that has steered polar air into the central U.S. is breaking down. Weather patterns will shift so that most of the air streaming into the U.S. will be coming from a warmer area of the globe — the Pacific Ocean.
“By the weekend, it will feel like a different season in Nebraska,” Terry said.
Nebraska and western Iowa temperatures are likely to be in the 40s this weekend, with the Panhandle enjoying highs in the mid-50s.
Since Nov. 10, Valentine, Nebraska, has been in the midst of its coldest stretch on record for this time of year. On Saturday and Sunday, the community set daily record lows of 13 degrees below zero. On Tuesday and Wednesday, it set daily record lows of 14 degrees below zero.
At Lake McConaughy, the abrupt arrival of Arctic weather generated a bit of lake-effect snow clouds and a dusting of snow south of the lake.
The roller coaster that has been occurring isn’t that unusual for the season, Terry said. And there’s no way to draw broader conclusions about the winter ahead based on recent weather that has gripped the nation.
“I don’t think you can tie in with that,” he said.