SIDNEY - A key change in the weather forecast created challenges for meteorologists to make snowfall predictions on a winter storm expected to strike the Nebraska Panhandle, Northeast Colorado, and southeast Wyoming Monday. 

The National Weather Service says signs pointed toward a period of heavy freezing drizzle developing southeast of a line ranging from Pine Bluffs to Alliance overnight Sunday into Monday morning. The icing would create travel difficulties, as well as the potential for isolated power outages.

WeatherEye Meteorologist Nick Carlyle tells News Channel Nebraska there's an unusual amount of warm air associated with this system, which is not typically something we see in January.

"We're going to be starting off seeing a wintry mix, with freezing drizzle likely, especially across portions of southwestern Nebraska, looking at areas near Sidney, Kimball, and Bridgeport," Carlyle said. "Pretty much anywhere north and west of Bridgeport should see mostly snow during this entire event, but areas Bridgeport and southeastward could see some ice accumulations here, especially late tonight (Sunday) into early Monday morning."

Precipitation was expected to transition to all snow for the rest of the Panhandle and northeast Colorado later in the day Monday into Monday night, according to Carlyle.

"Ice accumulations could be about a tenth of an inch to two-tenths of an inch across portions of the listening area," Carlyle said. "Snowfall totals are still ranging from about four to six inches around Sidney. We're looking at about six to eight inches for areas near Kimball, Cheyenne, and Bridgeport. Then for Scottsbluff, Alliance, and areas northwest of there, mainly looking at 8-12 inches of snow. Blowing and drifting snow is possible later Monday night."

The weather service advises substantial accumulations were still expected overnight Sunday through Monday. Winter Storm Warnings were in effect for all of southeast Wyoming and the Nebraska Panhandle until 11 p.m. Monday. Northeast Colorado remained in a winter storm watch.

Carlyle says dryer conditions are forecast after the winter storm system exits the region by Tuesday morning with sunshine and temperatures reaching above average levels through the remainder of the week into next weekend. 

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