Snow, Wind and Cold - January 6th-9th

Snow and strong winds accompanied an arctic airmass that settled in across the Central Plains region January 6th through the 9th.  Snowfall of up to 1 to 3 inches fell on the 6th, and when gusty northwest winds kicked in, both new snow and snowfall from previous snowstorms started blowing and drifting.  The winds remained strong all day on the 7th and temperatures plummeted in the arctic airmass.  Temperatures struggled to reach the single digits for highs on the 7th, and highs only managed the single digits and teens on the 8th and 9th.  Low temperatures the morning of the 7th were four degrees either side of zero, and dropped well below zero on the 8th and 9th.  The following record lows were set the morning of January 9th:

  • Grand Island:  New record low temperature of -16 degrees.  The previous record was -15 degrees set in 1974.
  • Hastings:  New record low temperature of -15 degrees.  The previous record was -14 degrees set in 1982.

The bitter cold temperatures combined with the wind to produce wind chill values of 20 to 40 degrees below zero at times.

With the arctic airmass in place, and as the snow continued to blow and drift on the 7th, sundogs appeared during the morning and evening.

The map below shows the snowfall on January 6th.  Click on the image to enlarge.

  The table below lists the peak wind gusts on January 6th and 7th.  The wind direction both days was from the northwest.

Peak Wind Gusts (mph)
Location January 6 January 7
Grand Island 47 46
Hastings 44 39
Kearney 39 38
Ord 55 47
Lexington 32 36
Aurora 45 41
York 41 40


Return to News Archive is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.