A potent low pressure system produced a variety of weather across the central plains over the weekend on April 4th and 5th.   Showers and thunderstorms developed ahead of the low pressure system Saturday, April 4th and a few storms became severe east of highway 281.  Two brief tornadoes developed with one touch down near Fairfield, and the second just east of Sutton, NE in Clay County.  More information on the tornadoes can be found here.   A loop of KUEX radar showing the convection can be seen below:

 

 In addition to the tornadoes, the thunderstorms also produced hail to the size of half dollars, and thunderstorm wind gusts between 60 and 65 mph.  A summary of the storm reports is depicted below.  Click on the image for a detailed report.

As the storm system tracked across Kansas into northwest Missouri Saturday and Saturday night, cold air was drawn south on the back side of the system.  The arrival of the cold air caused the rain to change over to snow the night of April 4th, or early morning of April 5th.   Very strong winds with gusts in excess of 50 mph accompanied the snowfall, causing white out conditions at times.  During the height of the storm, Interstate 80 in Nebraska was closed from York west to the Wyoming state line.

The image on the left below shows the snowfall which occurred the night of April 4th and 5th.  The higher snowfall amounts fell north of Interstate 80 where amounts ranged from 2 to 6 inches.  The image on the right is a visible satellite image taken on Monday, April 6, which illustrates the snowpack across much of the state of Nebraska.  Click on the images to enlarge. 

          

 

To add to the storms and snow,  winds were strong and gusty  from the southeast ahead of the system, then winds turned north and increased further on the back side of the low.  The table below depicts the greatest wind speeds observed both Saturday, April 4th and Sunday, April 5th.

 

 
 

 Peak Wind Gusts April 4th

 

Location

Wind Direction

and Speed (mph)

Time (CDT)
Ord NNE 52 10:17 pm
Lexington NNE 51 8:10 pm
Kearney NNE50 8:55 pm
Aurora NE 48 9:30 pm
Grand Island  SE 47  10:20 am
Holdrege N 45 10:30 pm
York E 45 6:30 pm
Hastings  SE 44  11:53 am
Hebron  E 40  2:50 pm
Phillipsburg NNW 38 11:53 pm
 

 

 

 Peak Wind Gusts April 5th

 

Location

Wind Direction

and Speed (mph)

Time (CDT)
Hastings N 54 3:53 am
Kearney N 52 1:35 am
Grand Island  N 51  3:39 am
Phillipsburg N 51 12:41 pm
Hebron N 48 6:10 am
Holdrege N 46 1:50 pm
Lexington NNW 46 10:50 am
Ord N 45 3:53 am
Aurora  N 44  2:10 am
York N 44 5:50 am


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