Winter Storm Details December 8-9 2009 (Updated Precipitation Map)


A very strong winter storm moved through the area Tuesday and early Wednesday. Snowfall was difficult to measure due to significant blowing and drifting. Drifts in some areas were on average about 4-6 feet in places. The winter storm was a long duration event with light snow beginning on the evening of December 7th, continuing through the day on the December 8th, before ending overnight on the 9th.

Below are radar and satellite loops from the duration of the storm (loops are large, be patient).

Regional Radar Mosaic from 6 pm 7 December through 3 am CST December 9

 

 Regional Satellite Mosaic from 6 pm December 7 through 130 am CST December 9 2009.

 

Below is a storm total snowfall map and a few details about impacts to specific counties throughout the region.

The winter storm that impacted the area was expansive in nature. Snow fell from Kansas to the Dakotas and from the Rockies to the Great Lakes. Below is a visible satellite image from Wednedsay afternoon showing the extent of the snow cover.

Significant Impacts (reported from Emergency Managers), mostly late Tue night into early Wed morning:

  • Shelby County IA:    Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or much less from midnight to 6 am.  Windspeed in Harlan at the landfill peaked at 56 mph at 4 am.  Roads difficult to travel, mostly impassable. 
  • Butler County, NE:    Zero visibility most of the night.
  • Pawnee County NE:   Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less
  • Colfax County NE:   Four foot drifts, roads are drifting back in 30 to 40 minutes after plows go through. 
  • Cedar County NE:  Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less, highest wind 48 mph.  
  • Cass County NE:  Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less, road crews unable to keep roads clear as drifting continues.
  • Pottawattamie County IA:  Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less, often a few feet.  5 foot drifts in rural areas. 
  • Stanton County NE:  Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less, 4'-5' drifts, some roads blowing back shut after plows go through, two plows stuck and being dug out with front loaders
  • Lancaster County NE:  Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less, 6 foot drifts.  
  • Nemaha County NE:  Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less.  Snow plows unable to make progress on clearing roads, and have mainly been engaged in pulling stuck emergency vehicles.  
  • Otoe County NE:  Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less
  • Douglas County NE and Omaha metro area:  Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less, interstate on-ramps, residential and developments difficult to keep open, drifts in rural areas 4'-5'.
  • Gage County NE:  Frequent visibilities 1/4 mile or less, road crews sent home unable to make progress clearing roads due to wind and drifting. 
  • Boone County NE:  whiteout conditions, roads impassable, snowplows sent home
  • Saunders County NE:  US Highway 77 and Nebraska Highway 92 closed near Wahoo due to being drifted shut.
  • Saline County NE: frequent visibilities of a 1/4 to 1/8 mile or less. Some 5-6' drifts, most county roads were blocked overnight.
  • Sarpy County NE:frequent visibilities of a 1/4 to 1/8 mile or less. Some 5-6' drifts, most county roads were blocked overnight

The above impacts were due to the combination of the snow and winds. Below is a map of the highest wind gusts reported through the storm in miles per hour. 

Below are a few pictures from the National Weather Service in Omaha/Valley, NE

Drift outside the backdoor at the National Weather Service Omaha/Valley, NE

Drift in front of the National Weather Service Omaha/Valley, NE

Sun dog around 8 am CST at the National Weather Service Omaha/Valley, NE

 

 



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