Columbus will see the first snowfall | Local
It’s that time of year again – Columbus could see its first snowfall of the season on Friday. Authorities are reminding travelers to slow down and prepare for winter.
Snow could arrive in the morning, according to Van DeWald, chief meteorologist at the National Weather Service Omaha / Valley Office.
“After eight or nine in the morning we’ll see a chance and probably in the afternoon we’ll see snow,” DeWald said. “Once it starts, it will go on and on into the evening, then probably end overnight (Friday).”
But, DeWald noted, the freshly fallen snow won’t last long.
“The weekend is shaping up to be really cool, after having spent the snow (Friday),” said DeWald. “(We will have) a dry weekend, high temperatures; Saturday in your thirties and Sunday in your forties. “
Platte County Emergency Director Tim Hofbauer said drivers should remember to slow down.
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“Although we are only expected to be around an inch to maybe 3 at the most, the roads could still be slippery,” said Hofbauer.
Hofbauer said it was also time for people to start making a winter travel kit to put in their vehicle.
“If you’re traveling into the future and you’re stuck in a snowstorm or something, you’ve got some supplies in your vehicle… like food, extra clothes,” Hofbauer said. “Make sure your cell phones are charged, possibly (include) a charger for your cell phone or electronics, a candle, blankets and things like that just in case you get stuck.” “
A page on the Nebraska Extension website states that the kits should also include a long-handled wiper, a flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs, jumper cables at least 12 feet long, flares, a tow rope, duct tape, a small shovel, and a sandbag that could be used to gain traction if stuck on ice or snow.
Hofbauer added that those traveling – especially on vacation – should keep a full tank of gas in their vehicle.
In a press release issued by the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) and the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT), drivers are reminded to avoid overloading snowplows, reduce their speed, increase the distance by follow up and tie up every time.
According to the statement, NDOT last month unveiled an updated Nebraska 511 Advanced Travel System. People can visit the 511.nebraska.gov website or the Nebraska 511 phone app to view live cameras, route reports, closure information, and live weather radar. The radar will allow users to monitor storms as they move through Nebraska, according to the press release.
The northern and northwestern parts of Nebraska are expected to be more heavily affected by the onset of snow, according to the press release, but this may be the first time this season that many drivers have traveled in wintry conditions.
“This is the first measurable snowfall of the season, which is catching some people off guard,” said DeWald. “We kind of have to remember (our) winter driving skills and relearn them a bit, but an inch or two of snow is very manageable. And with the warm temperatures this weekend, it’s not going to last very long.
Hannah Schrodt is the editor-in-chief of The Columbus Telegram. Contact her by email at [email protected]