The north wind will continue to roar Thursday, gusting up to 60 mph in the North Platte area, the National Weather Service in North Platte said.
Powerful wind gusts of 50-65 mph were frequent all night Wednesday, the weather service said, and possibly into Thursday, making pavement super-slick as the temperature drops and heightening flooding concerns, according to the National Weather Service in North Platte.
A skiff of snow fell overnight and another inch or so is possible Thursday, mostly in northern Nebraska. Winds will ease somewhat Thursday night, but blow 20-30 mph through Friday, the weather service said.
Rains and snow melt are causing lowland flooding. I-80 remains closed in western Nebraska from Elm Creek to the Wyoming border due to slick pavement and winds strong enough to blow a truck over.
Faced with the possibility of super-slick roads, the Nebraska Department of Transportation closed I-80 and U.S. Highway 30 west of North Platte early Wednesday afternoon.
An half-inch of rain Wednesday came on top of a half-inch overnight in North Platte, according to the weather service gauge at the North Platte Regional Airport. That was on top of the quick snow melt Tuesday when the temperature surpassed 50 degrees. Rivers, creeks and lowland ponds are filling rapidly.
Travelers are advised to be alert, aware and check up-to-date travel conditions and closures on their phone by dialing 511. Road conditions are available on desktop computers at www.511.nebraska.gov.
Motorists are reminded to make sure everyone in their vehicle wears a seat belt and children are in a car safety seat. Do not use cruise control in wet or snowy weather and keep a full gas tank.
The Nebraska State Patrol Highway Helpline is available 24 hours a day for assistance. Drivers can reach NSP by dialing *55 from any cell phone. Call 911 for any emergency.
On the brighter side, the forecast is for sunny and clear skies for the weekend, with highs up to 50 degrees, as spring-like weather continues to arrive in west central Nebraska.
(This report was updated at 9 a.m Thursday.)