Up to a foot of snow will fall in North Platte and most of central Nebraska Tuesday, the National Weather Service in North Platte said.
North winds will gust to 30 mph Tuesday afternoon, producing blowing and drifting. Areas of blowing snow could continue through Tuesday night. The heaviest snow will end around 9 p.m.
Up to 8-10 inches of snow is likely in the North Platte area, with more possible, the weather service said Tuesday morning.
The sun will shine Wednesday, but light snow is possible again Wednesday night, on Thursday and the following days.
Nightly temperatures will dip into the low teens during the worst of the weather. Daytime highs will be in the upper 20s and 30s until Friday, when the temperature could reach the lower 40s. Rain is possible Friday and again Saturday.
Be alert for slick and/or snow-packed roads. Visibility could be greatly reduced during the heavy snow Tuesday, the weather service said. If you have to drive, pack some emergency gear.
(This report was updated at 9 a.m. Tuesday.)
Tips from the Nebraska State Patrol:
- If you must travel, use well-traveled routes and give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Tell others your destination, your route, and when you will arrive.
- If you become stranded while traveling, stay in your vehicle until help arrives. Have a red flag or bandanna to signal for help. Freezing temperatures can be life threatening.
- If your vehicle becomes stuck, run your motor sparingly and keep a window cracked to prevent buildup of carbon monoxide.
- Maintain a winter weather survival kit in your vehicle.
Here are some suggested emergency items for a winter weather survival kit from Outdoor Writer Rick Windham.
Dress warmly. Don’t just dress for the car plus an extra jacket. Take what you would need to stay warm if you have to stand out in the environment for an hour.
Your vehicle provides shelter, so staying with your vehicle is advantageous. A vehicle is also easier for a rescuer to see than a single person.
Carry a poly-tarp in your vehicle. One that is 10 x 12-feet is adequate. It can help with shelter and you can stay surprisingly warm by wrapping up in it. A brightly colored tarp can also be seen easily. You can drape it over your vehicle. I also recommend carrying about 50-feet of a small diameter rope to tie up the corners of your tarp.
A candle, one of those big ones in a jar, is nice to have in your vehicle. If you are stuck in a ditch on a cold night, a candle can make a lot of difference. A candle will provide light and a surprising amount of warmth in a closed vehicle. Just be sure you open one of the windows slightly so carbon monoxide doesn’t build up.
Tuck a couple lighters into glove boxes and center consoles. Not just any lighter, though. I prefer Scripto disposables. They have a “safety” on them that makes it very difficult to open the valve and let the fuel out accidentally.
Carry some adhesives because they are highly flammable. Squeeze out a ribbon on the ground, even on top of a puddle of water, and it will burn. A couple inches of adhesive will burn about 10 minutes, giving you enough time to dry out wet tinder and get a good fire going if you need one.
For nourishment, take extra water. Dried foods are good. Canned goods will stand up to some freezing and thawing. I carry a couple cans of canned meat and something like apple pie filling. The meat provides adequate protein and the pie filling provides lots of energy. You will need extra energy to stay warm.
And, if you have cans, don’t forget to carry a can opener.
You should have a knife — a sturdy knife with at least a 4-inch blade is about right. A 6-inch fixed blade hunting knife is a good choice, too. There are a thousand uses for a knife.
I hope you never need to depend on any of these items, but if you have them with you, you will be ready to handle the situation.