Severe weather is set to arrive in River Country this afternoon. Here’s what to expect.

Much-needed rain and a round of severe weather arrives Tuesday and lasts into Thursday.

Southeast Nebraska, southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri are in the bull’s-eye for the storms as clashing air masses converge Tuesday afternoon. The risk of severe weather in the Lincoln and Omaha metro areas kicks off about 2 p.m. and intensifies by the evening, according to the National Weather Service.

The Nebraska City region is forecast to see showers and thunderstorms around 7 p.m. The storms are expected to continue through Wednesday morning. Some storms could be severe.

Gone will be the dry conditions that fueled the blinding dust clouds blamed for two days of tragic pileups on Interstate 80 in eastern Nebraska.

Rains also could put an end to the highly combustible grass fires that have bedeviled firefighters. None too soon, either.

On Monday night, several severe storms fired up in central and north-central Nebraska, dropping hail as large as ping pong balls near Broken Bow and spawning winds of about 70 mph in Holt County.

This spring has been unusually quiet in terms of severe weather because of the cool, dry conditions. As a result, meteorologists are concerned that some people might be complacent because they aren’t used to thinking of severe weather. Some of Tuesday’s storms could turn into supercells. Damaging winds, hail and even an isolated tornado are possible Tuesday.

After an initial bout of scattered, powerful storms, the weather system is expected to shift to drenching rains.

Forecast

Today

A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 5pm. Some of the storms could be severe. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Breezy, with a south wind 14 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Tonight

Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 2am. Some of the storms could be severe. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. South wind 7 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.

Wednesday

A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 78. South wind 8 to 10 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Wednesday Night

Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly before 1am. Cloudy, with a low around 57. West wind 5 to 10 mph becoming east after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Thursday

A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 78. East wind 6 to 11 mph becoming south southwest in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Thursday Night

A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Friday

Sunny, with a high near 76.

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