SIDNEY - Slick roads in the southern Nebraska panhandle resulted in multiple vehicle accidents on Interstate 80 and Highway 30 Saturday morning.

Roads remained opened, but the Nebraska Department of Transportation advised no travel in Cheyenne, Kimball, and Deuel Counties because of icy conditions. Light snow and rain, and temperatures in the lower 30s, early in the morning led to the slippery conditions.

One accident reported at mile-marker 55 on westbound Interstate 80, west of Sidney, blocked the right lane. Drivers were asked to keep left of the crash site.

Potter Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Onstott said they responded to one non-injury accident Saturday morning. He says he's heard of six accidents, with some being vehicles sliding off the road, across the Sidney area. 

One person was trapped in a vehicle in another accident and had to be transported to the hospital, according to Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Matt Butts. He says that's the only call they had to respond to as of 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

The icy conditions Saturday leads up to a significant winter storm that's on track to impact the Nebraska Panhandle, northeast Colorado, and southeast Wyoming over the next 24 to 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service office in Cheyenne. 

Meteorologists with the weather services say the first wave of very heavy snowfall is expected Saturday night across portions of Carbon and Albany counties (Rawlins, Saratoga, Muddy Gap, Shirley Basin) in Wyoming, eventually spreading into Converse and Niobrara counties (Douglas, Lusk) by early Sunday morning. These snow bands could be very intense with localized rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour.

After a brief lull in snowfall intensity mid-day Sunday, more widespread moderate to locally heavy snowfall will spread across the entire region Sunday night and persist through Monday, according to the weather service. The NWS says this is the time period when far southeast Wyoming, the Nebraska Panhandle, and northeast Colorado will see most of their snow. While rates will not be as intense as the first wave further west, several inches of snow will be likely.

The weather service's confidence in snowfall amounts is extremely low due to the banded nature of snow and some lingering questions regarding storm track. However, meteorologists say all signals point toward high probabilities of widespread 6 to 12 inch amounts across most of the area.

Beneath heavier bands, 12 to 18 inches can be expected, with the highest potential for these totals being realized across Carbon, Northern Albany, Converse, and Niobrara counties. Higher ridges and mountain tops in northern Carbon County (Ferris/Seminoe Ranges) could receive 18-24 inches of snow from tonight through late Monday. The Snowys and Sierra Madres can expect 3 to 5 feet of new snow.

A winter storm watch remains in effect for the region from 5 p.m. Sunday to 11 p.m. Monday. The NWS there will be dangerous travel conditions due to icy, snow packed roads, and significantly reduced visibilities in falling and blowing snow.



Significant weather updates on 987 The Big Boy and Cheyenne County Country are brought to you by American Family Insurance, Van Kitt agent, in Sidney.