In the winter you can be driving in a winter wonderland with blue skies above, when suddenly the wind comes up and starts blowing snow around, creating "whiteout" conditions. Thats a ground blizzard. Snow starts drifiting and driving becomes dangerous. Although my pictures don't show it, there was blue sky directly above me while I was taking these shots. Be careful.
We are not really in "tornado alley" and it doesn't happen often, but it still is wise to pay attention to the weather in the springtime.
On May 29th, 2008, two tornadoes touched down multiple times in and around our town of Kearney, Nebraska.
I attach five of my photos from the experience.
Please click the photo to see them all.
BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN DRIVING THROUGH UNMARKED CORNFIELD INTERSECTIONS ON GRAVEL ROADS. There will be grain trucks driving those roads and the corn can block your view of the other road until it is too late. Slow Down!
OK you city folks, pay attention. If you want to go for a drive in the country, thats great. But rule # 1 is, don't go on unfamiliar country roads after it has rained. You might get stuck because they are not paved. Rule # 2: Get yourself a DeLorme atlas of Nebraska (or any state where you plan to drive in the country). These atlases will show you every country road and where they will take you. The DeLorme atlases have saved me many miles and much frustration.
OK it probably won't happen to you, but........
Be alert when passing cattle trucks on the highway. Once in awhile a cow will be backed up against the side of the truck and may suddenly decide to pee, or even worse! You might end up looking for a car wash.
Convertable drivers be especially alert!!!
If you see hills of corn piled up like this, there is a temptation to go and play on the hill. DON'T DO IT! The corn is like quicksand and you can sink down into it and suffocate. Such awful deaths happen to farm workers from time to time; all it takes is a slip and a fall into the corn. Stay away.
These storms often contain hailstones, especially in the western half of Nebraska. I suggest turning your AM radio to 880 (KRVN), which can be heard over most of the state. KRVN, we have found, gives the best weather reports of anyone, especially when severe weather in making a run through the state.
As the photo shows, sometimes even the pilot car can't get through, at least for awhile. Here you see an old road surface being chewed up and spit out. We have to wait until the truck is full and pulls away.
Nebraska is 400 miles long and if you get lost the locals in the towns wont help you going through....Compared to my hometown of Columbus, Ohio I have found that they have a whole different set of values(in a negative way) in Nebraska....the locals in Omaha and Lincoln are very rude (rudest people in the country) and will mug and rob you in heartbeat...Omaha,NE residents have a very darwinistic attitude that only the fittest shall survive....In Columbus, Ohio where I am from when a disabled person is on the street people move out of the way....but in Omaha they will rob a person who seems weak and is vulnerable....all and all when I call my friends back in Columbus, OH about the people around Nebraska and how rude and downright uncomprehensibly nasty they are shocked because in a small place like nebraska you would think people would be nice
This is the heartland of America and sometimes it feels
like an Oven here.If You visit Nebraska in the Summer,
Pack light because Temps here often reach Texas
levels of 100 degrees or more.What is amazing to me
is the fact that Eastern Nebraska is like a Stifling Hot
Sauna,but in Western Nebraska its Cooler and Much
Drier...Its like 2 different parts of the Country!!!!.
Weather is cyclical and so once in awhile the rains stop falling and everything dries up.
The photo shows what was left of our beautiful Platte River on July 26, 2012, in the middle of a drought. The location is near the Alda exit of I-80 (which means just west of Grand Island).
Among others it affects farmers, who lose their crops. Then it affects consumers as food prices go up.
Now hold on a minute. I've lived in Nebraska for over 40 years and never have seen a Rattler. But it is possible, mainly in the western third of the state. Just keep it in mind if you are going for a hike.
Recently we stopped for coffee and bathrooms at the Kimball Welcome Center, and found this sign right next to the building.
THIS IS A SNOWDRIFT...ABOVE YOU! After a snowstorm or blizzard, huge amouts of snow can overhang buildings, trees, whatever. This particular one probably weighs a hundred pounds or more.
Don't stand underneath one of these! Sooner or later, its coming down!
The weather changes quickly out on the open plains! Year after year, Nebraska is one of the top five states in the US in terms of numbers of tornadoes...111 touched down in 2004. From 1950 to 1994, Nebraska ranked fifth in tornado touchdowns with 1,673, but luckily only 23rd in fatalities and 24th in injuries.
SOMETIMES A CENTER PIVOT WILL SPRAY OUT OVER A ROAD, LIKE MAYBE THE ROAD YOU ARE DRIVING ON. HOPEFULLY YOU WILL NOT BE IN A CONVERTABLE.
ANYWAY, ONCE YOUR CAR GETS SPRAYED WITH IRRIGATION WATER, IT WILL PROBABLY NEED A REAL CAR WASH IN THE NEXT TOWN YOU COME TO!
CLICK THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT.