Weather could present travel challenges in Iowa, Nebraska

December 26, 2019 GMT

People headed back home from the Christmas holiday in Nebraska and Iowa could be delayed by the coming weather system.

The National Weather Service issued winter storm watches Thursday for much of western Nebraska and is warning Iowa travelers about the potential for icy roadways and heavy rain.

Snowfall ranging up to 6 or even 8 inches (15.2 centimeters or even 20.3 centimeters) has been forecast for the western two-thirds of Nebraska, starting late Friday afternoon and ending early Sunday. Storm winds could gust up to 35 mph (56.3 kph), adding to the difficulty of maintaining vehicle control on slick highways and streets.

Freezing rain is expected to fall starting Friday night across west-central and northern Iowa, the weather service said. Rainfall of up to 1.5 inches (3.8 centimeters) is forecast for most the state.