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Iowa, Nebraska brace for winter weather on New Year’s Day

December 31, 2021 GMT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Iowa and Nebraska could begin the new year with dangerous wind chills and heavy snow, and drivers in parts of Nebraska encountered slick roads on Friday due to patchy freezing drizzle.

The National Weather Service predicted that southeastern Nebraska could see 6 to 9 inches of snow on Saturday, while the Omaha area could see 3 to 6 inches. Parts of southern Iowa could see up to 10 inches, and central Iowa could get 4 to 9 inches, according to the weather service.

Eastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa both saw freezing drizzle and icy roads on Friday, causing treacherous driving conditions.

The National Weather Service announced a wind chill advisory for northern Iowa starting at 9 p.m. Friday, with predicted wind chills as low as 35 degrees below zero through Sunday morning. Meteorologists at the weather service said such conditions could cause frostbite on exposed skin within 10 to 30 minutes.

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Paul Fajman, a meteorologist with the weather service in Valley, Nebraska, said the snow is expected to start after midnight and reach peak intensity later Saturday morning. Fajman said blowing snow will reduce visibility, and roads will be slick and snow-covered.

The snow is expected to stop sometime Saturday afternoon, but cold conditions will likely remain.

The forecast comes after an unseasonably warm and mild December, with little to no snow.