December 11, 2010 Blizzard

Blizzard of 11 December 2010

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During the day on 11 December 2010, a strong upper level storm system moved from northeast Nebraska to western and then central Iowa. This storm system spread snow, strong winds and bitterly cold temperatures to the region. The combination of these elements created blizzard conditions over parts of northeast and east central Nebraska, as well as western Iowa.

 

Below are animations of the water vapor imagery through the event, and a regional radar mosaic. Water vapor is used by meteorologists because, at times, it can aid in the search for disturbances in the atmosphere that can lead to sensible weather such as rain or snow. Notice how a curl develops in the imagery over northeast Nebraska and moves into Iowa. This is the potent upper level storm system getting organized directly over the area. This curl is also apparent in the regional radar mosaic.

 


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Below are peak sustained and wind gusts through 9 pm CST 11 December.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OMAHA/VALLEY NE
900 PM CST SAT DEC 12 2010

...STRONG WINDS ON SATURDAY IN ADDITION TO SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...

A POWERFUL STORM SYSTEM BROUGHT STRONG WINDS TO THE REGION ON
SATURDAY...AS WELL AS SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WITH BLIZZARD
CONDITIONS IN PARTS OF EASTERN NEBRASKA AND WESTERN IOWA. THE
FOLLOWING SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS AND WIND GUSTS WERE THE STRONGEST
RECORDED ON SATURDAY:

SITE PEAK SPEED TIME PEAK GUST TIME
----------- ---------- -------- --------- --------
NEBRASKA:
ALBION 41 MPH 12:30 PM 54 MPH 8:50 AM AND 1:30 PM
BEATRICE 41 MPH 2:30 PM 52 MPH 6:10 PM
BLAIR 39 MPH 6:30 PM 53 MPH 4:30 PM
COLUMBUS 39 MPH 9:15 AM 51 MPH 4:35 PM
FAIRBURY 47 MPH 6:08 PM
FALLS CITY 33 MPH 8:16 PM 49 MPH 8:50 PM
FREMONT 44 MPH 2:30 PM 55 MPH 4:30 PM
LINCOLN 39 MPH 6:03 PM 58 MPH 7:15 PM
MILLARD 33 MPH 6:50 PM 53 MPH 6:50 PM
NEBRASKA CITY 41 MPH 3:30 PM 50 MPH 8:30 PM
NORFOLK 43 MPH 1:56 PM 56 MPH 1:56 PM
OFFUTT AFB 37 MPH 5:50 PM 48 MPH 5:48 PM
OMAHA EPPLEY 41 MPH 6:52 PM 57 MPH 7:01 PM
PLATTSMOUTH 46 MPH 3:52 PM 58 MPH 6:50 PM
TEKAMAH 41 MPH 3:17 PM 56 MPH 7:19 PM
VALLEY NWS 48 MPH
WAYNE 44 MPH 4:40 PM 54 MPH 4:10 PM

IOWA:
CLARINDA 33 MPH 3:15 PM 46 MPH 5:15 PM
COUNCIL BLUFFS 35 MPH 1:15 PM 49 MPH 3:15 PM
HARLAN 49 MPH 5:15 PM 58 MPH 5:35 PM
MONDAMIN 53 MPH 5:55 PM
RED OAK 29 MPH 12:55 PM 48 MPH 4:15 PM
SHENANDOAH 31 MPH 5:33 PM 43 MPH 6:35 PM


THESE ARE UNOFFICIAL OBSERVATIONS AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGES AND
UPDATES.


$$


Snowfall from the event varied widely. Of course, measuring the snow was very hard to do given the strong winds.  Here is a map of reported snow totals from Saturday's storm.

Snowfall Ending 7am 12/12/10

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This blizzard did not evolve as recent blizzards across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa, and did not take what may be considered a classic path for blizzards in the mid Missouri Valley Region. Many recent blizzards, such as the two December blizzards of 2009, moved into the region from the south or southwest. The blizzard of 11 December 2010 developed in the northern Rockies and moved southeast across the area.

 

To visualize the difference, compare the two water vapor imagery loops below. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Christmas blizzard December 24-25, 2009  

Blizzard of December 11, 2010

Observe how the December 11, 2010 blizzard developed and moved southeast, while the Christmas blizzard of 2009, which may be thought of as a typical pattern for the region, develops to the southwest of eastern Nebraska and western Iowa and moves north or northeast.



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