Windy with record heat and the threat of severe weather tomorrow

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – A warm front will rise northeastward across the region this evening and overnight, bringing a chance of showers and thunderstorms. As showers develop from south to north, isolated severe thunderstorms will be possible. Large hail would be the biggest threat. The best odds will be in the southeastern parts of the Local4 viewing area. By Friday morning, most of the moisture is expected to move northward. Tomorrow morning lows will be very mild in the northern 50s to the southern upper 50s.

Get ready for a crazy Friday weather day with a number of dangers to speak of. First, the clouds will lift off to the north, bringing mostly sunny skies to the region. But there may still be visibility restrictions. This is because the southerly winds will really pick up during the day. Look for southerly winds to increase to around 25-45 mph. Wind gusts could reach around 50 to 60 mph. The blast of dirt and dust is likely to cause problems with poor visibility. Although there may be a threat of wildfire, relative humidity will increase in central and eastern Nebraska as higher dew points move in from the south. The exception will be to the west where a dry line will drift into the western portions of the Local4 viewing area. These areas will experience a sharp drop in relative humidity. The fire threat will become more critical as you move west and could be extremely critical closer to the Colorado border. Strong southerly winds will help temperatures climb into the upper 80s and into the mid 90s in the afternoon, which will hit a record high. With dew points higher in the 50s and even 60s it will feel a bit more like a summer day, albeit with much stronger winds than we normally see in the summer.

In the late afternoon, before the dry line, a few isolated thunderstorms will try to develop in the late afternoon and early evening in central Nebraska and north-central Kansas. Unfortunately these might be isolated enough that most missed out and didn’t get any rain. Some models do not even show the development of storms. If they are able to develop, large hail would be the main threat. There would be an isolated tornado threat as well as damaging wind gusts. The most likely likelihood of thunderstorms won’t occur until later in the night as they develop in western Nebraska with an advancing cold front as it pushes east. Much of this will only happen around midnight or later. It would be more of a line of thunderstorms, with the biggest threat being straight-line gusts of wind. Another potential threat would be brief, weak tornadoes isolated along the line. Because it will be such a nocturnal threat, it’s important to have multiple ways to receive warnings while you sleep. Some models are much weaker with thunderstorms and even some don’t have much thunderstorm activity at all. If the line moves, it should begin to weaken at sunrise Saturday somewhere in central Nebraska. Probably the most disappointing thing with these thunderstorms is that they will move fast enough that larger amounts of rain are unlikely. Saturday morning low temperatures will range from the mid 40s in the west to near 70s in the east ahead of the cold front.

At the start of Saturday morning, showers and thunderstorms could persist throughout the morning, clearing from west to east. As the front passes, cooler temperatures are expected behind the front. Winds will blow from south to west northwest behind the cold front. Those winds will still be strong at 20-30 mph gusting to 45 mph, but that’s not as strong as Friday. Strong winds will raise the threat of fire…especially for those who haven’t had rain the previous two days. There is a risk of severe storms late in the day in extreme southeastern Nebraska Saturday afternoon with the cold front moving eastward. High temperatures on Saturday will range from the mid/upper 50s west/northwest to upper 70s east.

Sunday will be a mostly sunny day with dry conditions and strong northwest winds of 20-30 mph and gusts to 45 mph. The wildfire threat will likely be high again. High temperatures on Sunday will range from around 50° in the north to the mid-60s in the south. Monday will be a little nicer. The winds will still be cool, but not as windy. It will be a bit warmer with highs ranging from the upper 50s in the north to the mid 60s in the south. Winds will pick up a bit on Tuesday and Wednesday as warmer temperatures return. Tuesday’s highs will range from the upper 60s in the east to the upper 70s in the west. Maximum temperatures on Wednesday will range from the mid-70s in the east to the mid-80s in the west. There will be a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday evening through Thursday.

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