This forecast is so 2020.

Just as Memorial Day weekend arrives and Nebraska’s state recreation areas open fully to camping, stormy weather has settled in, with the state poised to see one of its more significant bouts of severe weather this spring.

So much for a worry-free weekend away from the city and coronavirus stresses.

Already this week, heavy rains — some 3 inches or so — have caused lowland flooding in south-central Nebraska.

Another rainy day is forecast in some areas Friday, and severe storms are possible across much of Nebraska on Saturday. The area at highest risk of strong storms Saturday is northern and central Nebraska, according to the National Weather Service. Popular recreation areas potentially affected include the Niobrara River valley, Lake Maloney, Sutherland and Calamus State Recreation Areas, Lake Jeffery and, to a lesser extent, Lake McConaughy.

Chris Buttler, a meteorologist at the weather service, said the greatest risk from Saturday’s storms will be damaging winds and large hail, especially in northern Nebraska. Early indications are that tornadoes aren’t a major worry. He said the forecast will gain accuracy on Friday.

“We haven’t had a lot of severe weather so far this year, so people may have their guard down,” Buttler said. “If you’re going to be out camping, stay alert and keep your cellphone next to you.”

As with any severe weather threat, it’s best to have a plan for what to do if storms flare up, especially because these storms could move quickly.


Here's what those severe weather warnings mean