Powerful wind storm to hit Omaha Wednesday night

The worst of the winds in Omaha are expected to occur Wednesday night after midnight, according to the weather service. More from @gaarder: 

Powerful wind storm to hit Omaha Wednesday night Photo

Winds were expected to subside briefly Thursday morning before picking up again in the late morning. The National Weather Service says wind gusts up to 55 mph are possible in the Omaha metro area Thursday into Friday.

“It will be a nasty couple of days, especially on Friday,” said Brett Rossio, meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc., The World-Herald’s weather consultant. “It’s going to be really dangerous traveling Interstate 80 and I-29.”

The areas most likely to see the worst travel conditions are north of Omaha, where heavier snows are expected, Rossio said.Winds are expected to diminish Friday evening.

Monitor forecast: Conditions could change quickly, so pay attention to changing forecasts and always have a plan for where youll seek safety on short notice.

If a tornado threatens while you are in a mobile home: Get out, says the National Weather Service. If you have time, run to a tornado shelter or permanent building. If one isnt available, go outside and lie flat on low ground, protect your head. Get away from trees and cars, which can be blown onto you. Some research indicates that your parked car outside your mobile home is safer than the home itself. If you choose that option, get in the car, put on your seat belt and lay down so that your body is below the windows. Best plan though: During peak periods of danger, plan ahead so that you are away from your mobile home and instead are somewhere with sturdy shelter.

If a tornado threatens while you are in a home with a basement: Go downstairs and huddle under sturdy protection, like a work bench, table or stair steps. Stay away from windows. Avoid areas beneath heavy appliances or furniture — refrigerators, stoves, etc. — that could crash through the floor and crush you. Have extra protection on hand: A mattress to pull over you; wear shoes so you can walk out over glass and other sharp objects; use a bike helmet to protect your head; have a transistor or weather radio or cell phone to monitor conditions.  

If a tornado threatens while you are in a home without a basement: Go a small, interior room on lowest floor, like a bathroom, closet, stairwell or hallway. Stay away from windows. Crouch as low as possible, face down, with hands over your head. Cover yourself with a thick padding — blankets, mattress, cushions. Wear shoes, keep cell phone and radio handy.

If a tornado threatens while you are in a vehicle: Cars and other vehicles are not safe. Do your best to pull off the road and take shelter in a permanent building during powerful storms. If you are in open country and have time to drive out of the tornados path, heres how to do so: Watch the tornado for a few seconds, comparing it to a fixed object such as a tree or highway sign. If the tornado is moving to your right or left, it is not moving toward you. Escape by driving at right angles to its track — to your right if it is moving left or vice versa, to your left if it is moving right. If the tornado appears fixed and isnt moving left or right, it is likely moving toward you. Get out of the way and seek shelter away from your car. If the tornado hits you while youre in your car, be sure your seat belt is fastened and lay low, below your windows.

If a tornado threatens while you are in an office building, etc.: Seek a windowless area in the center of the building, away from glass and on the lowest floor possible. Stay off elevators. Crouch down and cover your head.

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