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Severe Snowstorm Lashes Nebraska, USA

An intense snowstorm unexpectedly dumped 13.8 inches of snow in North Platte Friday night and into Saturday morning.There were reports of up to 17 inches of snow in some areas, but the official 13.8 inches

PTI [ Updated: October 13, 2009 15:12 IST ]
severe snowstorm lashes nebraska usa
severe snowstorm lashes nebraska usa

An intense snowstorm unexpectedly dumped 13.8 inches of snow in North Platte Friday night and into Saturday morning.

There were reports of up to 17 inches of snow in some areas, but the official 13.8 inches at the airport in North Platte broke a record that was set nearly 113 years ago on Oct. 29-30, 1896.

"We had a little elevated instability that caused a high intensity snow band to form over the I-80 corridor and up into Broken Bow," John Springer, forecaster for the National Weather Service at North Platte said. "We knew there was the potential for this to happen, but it didn't look like it was going to be that big of an area."

The snowfall started late Friday night and when folks in the area woke up this morning, the fluffy snow was a wintry surprise.

In addition to the snow, temperatures remained in the mid-20s throughout the area on Saturday. Another front is expected to move through the area on Sunday, although this second storm is not expected to bring as much snow, perhaps 1-2 inches, according to Springer.

The snow that fell did not contain a lot of moisture, about a 25-1 ratio and that will allow it to compress down to six inches quickly.

A Nebraska State Patrol spokesman said there were no road closures in west-central Nebraska due to the storm. Crews were able to keep up with the storm throughout the night.

There were, however, a lot of reports of slide outs, accidents with the most serious at mile marker 193 near Maxwell. Someone was transported to the hospital, but according to the NSP it did not appear the injuries were serious.

On Sunday, the heavier amounts of snow that will come from the next system should be north of Ogallala and North Platte along U.S. Highway 20 with more of a freezing drizzle along the I-80 corridor.

As the afternoon wore on Saturday, the snow was melting quickly and road crews had cleared most of the main streets in North Platte.

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