OMAHA, Neb. - Residents across eastern Nebraska and western Iowa should prepare for the season's first significant snow later this week, with weather forecasters calling for up to half a foot of snow and gusty winds.
A large winter storm is expected to hit Nebraska midday Wednesday and move into Iowa by Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
Heavy snow coupled with 15-30 mph winds could make travel in those areas dangerous, said Weather Service meteorologist Van DeWald, based in Valley just east of Omaha.
Eastern Nebraska can expect several inches of snow, while western Iowa could see up to six inches of snow, he said.
"Unfortunately, this isn't one of those pretty snowfalls where it just floats down," DeWald said. "It's going to be a pretty messy day."
The snow should taper off by Thursday morning.
National Weather Service spokesman Rod Donavon, in Johnston, Iowa, also said about 6 inches of snow could fall in central and southeast Iowa. Parts of the southwest to the northeast also could be affected, he said.
"It's certainly going to impact most of Iowa," Donavon said.
Heavy rain is expected to affect the southeast part of the state Wednesday afternoon, and that will begin accumulating as snow, he said.
For some parts of Nebraska, Wednesday will bring the first measurable snowfall of the season. Scant snowfall of less than an inch on Sunday ended Omaha's record streak of no snow at 295 days. But Lincoln has gone more than 300 days without measurable snow.
"Even with the wind, some people are going to be excited," DeWald said. "It might give us a white Christmas."