The current storm system is still on pace to dump upward of a foot of snow on Hastings, but the largest amounts of accumulation will be south and west of here.
Jeff Halblaub, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hastings, said this morning that Smith Center, Kan., had received around 7 inches of snow and Wilsonville in Furnas County had received 8 inches by 8 a.m.
"The highest precip right now is along the I-70 corridor," he said. "It's from Kansas City to Goodland with the heaviest stuff, right now, over Kansas City."
Halblaub said the heaviest snowfall in Hastings would occur from noon to 9 p.m. today with accumulation amounts of as much as an inch an hour during that time.
As snow started to fall Wednesday, slick roads also led to several collisions.
Hastings police officers responded to 17 collisions on Wednesday before 6 p.m. and another three between 6 p.m. and this morning. The Adams County Sheriff's Office responded to a single-vehicle collision with a telephone pole Wednesday evening. The Nebraska State Patrol also worked a single-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon on U.S. Highway 281 near the Trumbull turnoff.
Hastings remains in a winter storm warning until midnight.
Weekend high temperatures are forecasted to be 21 degrees Friday, 28 degrees Saturday and 30 degrees Sunday.
"That could be a little bit optimistic for Saturday and Sunday just because of all the new snow cover that's on the ground," Halblaub said. "That's a huge, complicating factor so it results in a little bit lower confidence in our temperature forecast, because the computer models don't sense real well how to deal with new snow on the ground."
Wind shouldn't be much of a factor in the coming days, he said. Halblaub said forecasts show wind speeds of just 10-15 mph Friday.
Adverse weather may not be over for the Tri-Cities. Halblaub said another low pressure system is tracking across the southern plains and should result in snowfall late Sunday night.
"The track will be similar to the current system but probably a little bit further south," he said. "In the Tri-Cities area that probably means we'll be on the western edge of the snowfall and receive lesser amounts."
Accumulating snow does appear likely but at this point it's still too early to provide any specifics, Halblaub said. He has "average confidence" the snowfall totals won't be as great as this current storm.
Temperatures will be colder than normal early next week but not excessively cold. High temperatures Monday are expected to be in the upper 20s.
Halblaub said he is fairly confident there will be more wind with the next storm than the current one.
Wind could make the next system harder to deal with than the current storm even if there is less snowfall. Preliminary forecasts estimate sustained wind speeds of 20-30 mph and gusts as high as 45 mph.
"But obviously a lot can change between now and then," he said.