Wednesday morning will kick off with temperatures in the mid to upper 50s for most and south winds beginning to pick up, but still around 20-30 mph.
By late Wednesday morning, winds will be rapidly strengthening. By the lunch hour, winds will range from 45 to 55 mph, then increase to 60-70+ mph for the late afternoon and evening. Winds will slowly lighten up Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.
These winds will likely cause some issues for our Wednesday. Secure any outdoor furniture and decorations or bring them inside. Winds will also be strong enough to cause some scattered tree damage, which could create power outages, so keep your cell phones charged. While traveling, avoid getting close to high profile vehicles like semi trucks that will likely struggle to stay in their lanes. The recent dry weather and high winds will also create a high fire danger, so avoid any outdoor burning or anything that could start a fire.
The benefit of the very strong southerly winds will be the warm weather. The current record high for Wednesday's date is 61, set in 2002, but we will likely smash that, warming into the low 70s! It would also only be the fourth time for Omaha to hit the 70s in December since 1871... and the latest in the year to hit 70+ degrees on record.
But with warmer weather comes thunderstorm energy. As cooler air starts to push in late Wednesday, a broken line of storms will move from west to east through the region. It will be west of Omaha around as early as 2 pm, in Omaha around 4 pm, then out of western Iowa as early as 6 pm. A couple of these storms could be strong to severe. If any storm reaches severe levels, damaging winds will be the main concern, but an isolated tornado can't be ruled out, especially northeast of Omaha.
Thursday will be a lot colder, but winds will be lighter with mostly sunny skies. Highs will be in the mid 40s. While colder that's still above average. We stay in the mid 40s Friday with partly cloudy skies.
We get even cooler on Saturday, topping out in the low 30s with mostly sunny skies.
Sunday will be breezy, getting us a little warmer, back to the low 40s.
Then we cool back into the 30s for Monday.
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