A winter storm that brought winds gusting over 65 mph to western Nebraska was moving out of the state and toward the Great Lakes on Sunday.

The Nebraska Weather Service in Valley reduced a high-wind warning for today to a wind advisory, meteorologist Van DeWald said. Wind gusts are still expected to reach 30 to 40 mph in the Omaha area. 

"The wind advisory is in place until noon," DeWald said. "We're not seeing gusts to 60 mph. The max gust was 55 mph in Nebraska City. Lincoln reported 53 mph and Omaha 52."

The Omaha area received a trace of snow with an inch falling in northeast Nebraska, DeWald said. The high temperature today is expected to be only 31 degrees with a wind chill in the teens. 

Much of western Nebraska was snowed in Saturday with a 100-mile stretch of Interstate 80 closed from Big Springs to the Wyoming border. Parts of I-80 remained closed early Sunday, according to the Nebraska State Patrol. But I-80 reopened from Iowa to Wyoming later Sunday morning.  

Travelers were urged to check 511 for all closure updates.

As of 10 a.m., District 5 of the Nebraska Department of Roads reported that the only highways still closed in the Panhandle are:

Hwy 71 from Scottsbluff to South Dakota

Hwy 30 from Sidney to Wyoming

Hwy 29 from Mitchell to Harrison

"Winds are still gusting over 50 mph here and that's creating a lot of blowing snow," said Cliff Cole, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in North Platte. "The significant snowfall, however, has exited Nebraska and is on its way to the Great Lakes and the northeast (United States)."

Cole said the highest wind speed in the state over the past 24 hours occurred in Imperial, where a gust of 66 mph was recorded. Snow totals varied widely with Chadron reporting 14 inches, Valentine 3½ inches and North Platte less than an inch. 

The storm appears to have been much stronger in South Dakota, he said, where Rapid City reported 17½ inches of snow and winds over 60 mph. The Rapid City airport closed Saturday afternoon after visibility dropped so low that crews were unable to plow.

More seasonal weather will be on tap this week, Cole said. Temperatures are expected to lift back into the 40s across Nebraska. 

"The jet stream will lift back north," he said. "That will bring a Pacific high pressure moving into the Plains."

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

kevin.cole@owh.com, 402-444-1272

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