The National Weather Service in Hastings issued a winter weather advisory through 7 p.m. Wednesday as Grand Island and area residents are expected to experience the first substantial snowfall of the season.
But the snow should pass through the area and the temperature will be rising, but still chilly, for Halloween, according to the NWS Hastings office.
According to the weather service, total snow accumulations could range from 1 to 3 inches. The snow forecast covers all of south-central Nebraska.
On Tuesday, there was a little snow on the ground from overnight as the weather service said .03 of an inch of snow fell in Grand Island.
The weather service forecast 1 to 2 inches of snow for Grand Island Tuesday night and Wednesday.
For the Wednesday commute, there will be snow throughout the morning. Wednesday’s high will be near 30, with a north wind at about 15 mph and gusts as high as 20 mph. The chance of precipitation is 60%. Wednesday night will be cold with a low of about 15 and a northwest wind at about 5 mph.
On Halloween, it will be sunny, with a high near 38. The wind will be from the west at 5 to 10 mph. Thursday night’s forecast predicts a low of 23.
According to the NWS in Hastings, the end of October can be full of drama weatherwise.
“Just in the past 30 years, high temperatures in Grand Island have ranged from 23 to 81, and lows have ranged from 15 to 54,” the weather service reports.
For Grand Island, the warmest Halloween on record was 82 degrees in 1915 and the coldest was 12 degrees in 1923. Only 22 of 124 Halloween days on record (18%) have featured high temperatures above 70. However, the weather service reported that four of these occurrences were within the past 11 years (2016, 2012, 2011, 2008).
As for liquid precipitation on Halloween, the weather service said measurable amounts of 0.01 of an inch have been recorded in 21 of 124 years, or only 17% of the time. Measurable snow has been even rarer, with only four instances on record (although one of these was just two years ago in 2017). One snow event of note occurred in 1991 when Grand Island received 8.8 inches on Halloween.
With freezing weather and precipitation, the weather service alerts citizens to practice caution as the roads may be slick.
The Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) encourages drivers to be prepared for winter driving conditions.
“Last season, Nebraska experienced one of the worst winters on record. We had more snow events during the winter of 2018-2019 than anyone can recall at the Nebraska Department of Transportation,” said Director Kyle Schneweis.
As winter storms approach, travelers are urged to be alert, be aware and check the most up-to-date travel conditions available through 511, Nebraska’s Advanced Traveler Information System. The system is available at all times via Nebraska 511’s smartphone app, online at www.511.nebraska.gov or by dialing 511 on mobile devices within the state, or if dialing from a landline or outside Nebraska at (800) 906-9069.
The cold and snowy conditions also arrive when corn harvest continues to be slightly behind the five-year average of 50% complete. According to the USDA, harvest was 44% completed at the beginning of the week, near the 45% at this time last year.
Soybeans harvested was 85%, ahead of the 71% last year and near the 84% average.
Winter wheat condition rated 3% very poor, 8% poor, 28% fair, 48% good, and 13% excellent, with 92% emerged, near the 88% last year and the 91% average.
Sorghum harvested was 41% percent, behind the 57% both last year and average.
Pasture and range conditions rated 1% very poor, 3% poor, 19% fair, 63% good and 14% excellent.
Going into the weekend in Grand Island, Friday will be partly sunny, with a high of 45 and a low of about 23.
On Saturday, the high will be near 48, with Sunday’s high in the mid-50s. Lows will be in the 20s.
Monday will be mostly sunny, with a high near 53.