Arctic blast sweeps the state - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Arctic blast sweeps the state

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By: Kayla Bremer

We're only five weeks into winter and so far, its been a roller coaster ride.
Temperatures on Sunday were in the 50s and Monday morning, the Midwest woke up to wind chills of 15 to 30 below zero.                    

"I hate it, I don't like it at all," Paige McCollum said.

A fast–moving arctic weather system pushing across the country is bringing dangerous cold and strong winds, dropping temperatures more than 40 degrees in less than 24 hours.

"Days like today, it's just absolute misery," Derek Cook said.

Parts of Nebraska hit 50s and 60s on Sunday afternoon then were in the teens by nightfall after a powerful cold front swept across the state.  High wind warnings were issued, with gusts over 50 mph recorded at the Lincoln Airport.

State climatologist Al Dutcher says what's causing the extreme temperature swings and winds is two battling air masses, with Nebraska stuck right in the middle of it.  And the lack of snow is thanks to those "clipper systems" we hear about over and over.

"We need to get that gulf moisture into our region," Dutcher said.  "We don't want the winds coming from the north of us because it's basically coming from the arctic region which the ice is froze over so there's not a lot of moisture content with it."

The wind isn't something new to Nebraskans but this January seems much worse than others in recent memory.

"Wind makes it just miserable, absolutely miserable," Cook said.  "You walk outside and suddenly it feels like your skin is just frozen instantly.  It's horrible."

Nebraska is about four inches short on snowfall since November, but Dutcher says we could be seeing some snow this weekend and next week.

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