Residents of Hastings and surrounding areas are likely to see the biggest snowfall of this winter season in the next couple of days, according to the National Weather Service in Hastings.
The weather service has issued a winter weather advisory beginning at 3 a.m. Tuesday and extending until 6 a.m. Wednesday. Snowfall is predicted to total 3-5 inches in the Hastings area and towns in Nuckolls and Thayer counties could see up to 7 inches.
Hastings has had a total of 11 inches of snow so far in the 2013-14 winter season, so this week's accumulation could mark the biggest storm yet.
"This is going to be a rude awakening back into winter," said Julia Berg, forecaster with the NWS in Hastings. "The 3-5 inches we're looking at amount to almost half of what we've had for the whole season. It's definitely looking like the year's biggest snow system."
Temperatures are predicted to stay below the freezing point for much of the week, with the warmest temperatures expected today in the upper 20s.
Forecasters are predicting that most of the snowfall in Hastings will occur Tuesday afternoon and evening and will be accompanied by single-digit temperatures Tuesday evening. Wind chill values around 15-20 degrees below zero will be possible in the area Tuesday night.
Winds between 15-25 mph as well as higher wind gusts also are expected for Tuesday afternoon and evening, which will create some blowing and drifting snow conditions.
"With temperatures that cool, we tend to see a fluffier type of snow and that will blow around quite a bit," Berg said. "With the cold lingering for the rest of the week, we're not going to be melting the snow anytime real soon."
Blowing snow and snow flurries remain a possibility on Wednesday and temperatures will dip to around 7 degrees below zero Wednesday night.
Commuters in Hastings are cautioned to allow for additional driving time and to stay off the roads if possible when visibility is low. Visibility on rural roads is predicted to be even lower than in town during blowing snow conditions. Updated road condition information can be accessed by calling 511.
A 20-40 percent chance of snow also is predicted for Friday and Saturday this week. Sunny skies aren't expected to return until Sunday when temperatures will inch back up into the 20s.