May Day In The Metro: Winter Weather Advisory

By: Brian Mastre, Brittany Gunter, The Weather Authority, The Associated Press Email
By: Brian Mastre, Brittany Gunter, The Weather Authority, The Associated Press Email

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday for eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. This includes Omaha, Council Bluffs and Lincoln.

The best chance for snow accumulation will be on the grassy surfaces. The snow could fall fast enough to see some slushy spots on secondary roads, but most of the main roads should remain wet.

With temperatures remaining at or slightly above freezing, it will be hard to accumulate a significant amount of snow. The ground is very warm, but will likely cool with the dropping temperatures and sleet. Most areas will see less than two inches, though a few isolated areas could receive a bit more.

Periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties so be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities and use caution while driving.

How rare is snow in Omaha during the month of May? It has happened only four times in recorded history.

  • May 3, 1907: 1.3 inches
  • May 1, 1911: .2 inches
  • May 9,1945: 2 inches
  • May 3, 1967: 1 inch

    This could be the fifth recorded snowfall in the month of May for Omaha and could potentially set the all-time record. It appears unlikely that the metro will receive more than two inches, but a few models show the potential for more than two.

    “May Day, we got snow for May,” said Nancy Keifer of Lyons, Nebraska. “It should be lilac time now instead of snowball time.”

    Car after car pulled into an Oakland, Nebraska, gas station, the drivers taking a moment to clear a path to see. It had been snowing there since around lunchtime.

    “We were joking earlier about whether we should call for a snow day tomorrow,” said Tim Smith of Oakland. “You never know.” That from a farmer who will take moisture in any form, especially in May. After all, he has corn and alfalfa in the ground.

    Jill Johnson of Oakland never imagined she'd be delivering May Day baskets in a scene of wintry white.

    “It was mini-hail balls in West Point,” said Keifer. The snow came in many forms, but it had one similarity. It was icy, not of the fluffy variety. The young drivers thought that would play to their advantage.

    We've only had three (snow days) this year and we were pushing for one today,” said Jonathan Nickerson. “Yeah, it didn't work.” It may be May, but it should melt quickly. “All the kids said we’re going to go sledding in May,” said Nickerson. “I want to do it in July.”

    The National Weather Service says between three and five inches of snow has fallen in the southern half of the Nebraska Panhandle over a 24-hour period. Up to six inches was reported in northeast Nebraska.

    One and five inches have already fallen from Sioux City toward the Minnesota state line near Spencer, Iowa. An additional two inches could accumulate into Thursday.

    In western Iowa, up to two inches could hit around the Denison area between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Rain will move into central Iowa sometime Thursday and it could switch back into snow by evening, adding to the total snow accumulation.

    Far eastern Iowa will see mostly rain into Friday, though cities like Charles City and Waterloo could get some snow.

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