PLATTSMOUTH – Wind, ice, snow, sleet and cold temperatures joined forces this morning in the first major winter storm of the calendar year.
Cass County residents faced each of the elements in a storm that moved into the area during the overnight hours. The system reduced visibilities across the county and caused dangerous travel conditions on many roads.
Light rain began falling at Plattsmouth Municipal Airport late Wednesday night and a cold front entered the area after midnight. Wind speeds at the airport were five miles per hour at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday and increased to 22 mph at 12:15 a.m. Wind gusts reached 35 mph at the airport at 2:15 a.m.
Temperatures fell below freezing around 1:30 a.m. and caused icy conditions on roads across the area. A band of snow then covered the icy streets several hours later.
Law enforcement officials and storm spotters reported a range of snowfall totals to the National Weather Service. These included four inches at both Glenwood and Tecumseh, three inches at Beatrice and Offutt Air Force Base, 1.1 inches at Eppley Airfield in Omaha and 0.4 inches in Valley.
All five school districts in Cass County – Conestoga, Elmwood-Murdock, Louisville, Plattsmouth and Weeping Water – cancelled classes and activities scheduled for Thursday. Childcare services were closed and parent-teacher conferences were also cancelled at St. John the Baptist School in Plattsmouth.
Plattsmouth junior varsity and varsity girls basketball teams had been scheduled to host Omaha Roncalli tonight. Both games have been rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8. The junior varsity contest is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and the varsity game will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Weeping Water girls and boys basketball teams had been scheduled to travel to Fort Calhoun tonight. All games have been rescheduled for Friday, Jan. 12. The junior varsity girls basketball game will start at 4:30 p.m. and will last two quarters. The varsity girls basketball game may start before 6 p.m. due to the shorter junior varsity contest. The varsity boys basketball matchup will start at approximately 7:15 p.m.
The Louisville boys basketball program had been scheduled to travel to Omaha Brownell-Talbot tonight. A varsity-only game has been rescheduled for Friday, Jan. 19. School officials said the teams will tip off at approximately 8 p.m.
NWS forecasters are anticipating light snow on Friday afternoon and evening and additional snow late Saturday night. They said both systems could produce approximately one-half inch of snow in the Cass County area.