The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Wind, Then Snow in Holiday Week


December 30, 2020

The blustery nearing of Christmas and trace of snow reminded us it is still winter even though the moisture has been missing.

Winter officially started Tuesday, Dec. 22 with winds reported up to 12 mph from the southwest in the early morning to negligible and increasing to a high of 54 mph from the northwest at about 9:53 p.m.

Winds continued into Wednesday morning with gusts reaching 67 mph with 71 percent humidity at 5:53 a.m. Winds continued throughout the day from the north and northwest with humidity gradually falling from the mid 60s to a low of 35 percent at 2:53 before climbing back into the 50s and 60s. By midnight, winds were reduced to 14 mph from the northwest and humidity was at 61 percent.

Christmas Eve started where the day before ended, mild winds and 59 percent humidity for a windchill of 3 degrees. The winds returned, reaching 40 mph from the northwest at 8:53 .m. with a dewpoint of 11, relative humidity of 37 percent and wind chill of 22.

Warmer temperatures returned for Christmas and the weekend. Christmas Day had a high in the low 50s and a low near 20 with Saturday reaching the low 50s as well.

Further east, Nebraska State Patrol responded to winter conditions that resulted in several crashes and claimed three lives near Hershey.

At about 10:41 a.m. CST law enforcement responded to a crash involving a truck-trailer and a GMC Yukon near mile marker 167 on Interstate 80. Preliminary investigation shows the eastbound GMC went out of control and entered the westbound lanes, colliding with the truck. The driver of the GMC, Edgar Navarro, 24, and passengers Idayalid Bautista, 25, and Alexa Navarro, 4, all of Westminster, Colo., were pronounced deceased at the scene. Two additional passengers, a three-year-old girl and an 11-month-old girl were both transported to Great Plains Health in North Platte. They have since been transported to a hospital in Denver with what are believed to be non-life-threatening conditions. The driver of the semi was not injured.

On Tuesday, Dec. 29, the Nebraska State Patrol reported troopers responded to more than 170 weather-related accidents

Conditions Christmas were a gift with temperatures reaching into the high 50s with winds in the low teens, gusting to 22 mph and skies fair. Springlike conditions continued Saturday, Dec. 26, with temperatures reaching 60 near Sidney by early afternoon and wind reaching 18 mph with gusts of 25, according to readings from the Sidney Municipal Airport.

Temperatures cooled down Sunday in what was predicted as the calm before the snow. Sidney residents woke up Sunday to trace moisture and 92 percent humidity by 7 a.m., changing to fair and breezy ass the day progressed.

Monday was predicted to hit a high of 33 with winds from the west northwest and a chance of participation at 60 percent. The National Weather Service predicted Monday night to include and 80 percent chance of snow with winds at 15 to 25 mph and gusts reaching 35 mph. Chances of snow continued into Tuesday.

Snow arrived in the Panhandle mid-day Monday and continued into the night with visibility dropping to a quarter mile at times. Predictions were for the storm to exit the Panhandle by mid-day Tuesday with skies clearing and temperatures in the mid to high 30s.

Local weather readings are recorded at the Sidney Municipal Airport.


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