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There’s always a joke going around social media about Nebraska weather. And usually, they all hit a little too close to home.
It’s true that it can snow one day and the next you can be wearing a tank top and grilling steaks.
But the reality is that winters, in general, are cold….like, REALLY cold.
While Nebraska may not be a top tourist destination
ever in the winter, we get a surprising amount of transplants, military personnel, and business travelers into the state, many who may have never seen that white powder falling from the sky!
There can be stretches in the wintery months where we don’t see temps above 0 (yes, Farenheit) for days on end. Often the harsh and blustery conditions are paired with windchills that make it feel much much colder than the actual temperature reading.
And I think it goes without saying… we obviously get our fair share of snow.
So, what do us Cornhuskers wear? Well, this is actually all going to depend on your daily activities.
If you are just going to and from work most days, you can probably get by with minimal winter wear. A really good winter coat, some gloves, and a hat should serve you well.
However, if you
- Have kids and plan on sledding
- Have a driveway and need to shovel
- Like to get outdoors in the winter
- Are a college student walking around campus
- Workout year around outside (ie: are an outdoor runner)
Then you’ll need a bit more in terms of winter gear.
How To Dress for Winter in Nebraska
If I am going to be outside at all, I can’t sing the praises of layering enough. Not only can you stay warmer and more comfortable, but it’s also completely adjustable throughout your day!
This is especially handy on days where it starts out frigid but warms up as the day goes on or if you are getting active and need to peel off layers as you heat up.
Here are the layers I always use when outside in Nebraska and then take off or put on as the day goes on
Start your layering with a really good pair of thermals under your clothes. This gives a great base layer and by adding just this one item, you can get toasty real quick.
Thermals have come a long way in fashion and style. Regardless of this, my husband still insists on wearing quilted long johns that should place him on a wooden porch with a piece of straw hanging out his mouth as he strums a banjo.
I, on the other hand, have embraced the fashion, warmth, comfort and style of long underwear. In fact, I often will wear my thermal tops just as my main shirts around the house in the winter, as you’d never know they are “long underwear” by looking at them, but are super comfy and warm!
Quick Dry or Wicking Shirt
The next layer over your thermals is a good quick dry style shirt. Cotton just soaks up sweat, where a wicking shirt keeps you comfortable and not drenched.
I LOVE fleece pullovers for SO many reasons.
On those especially cold days where I’m outside for a long time, hiking in the forest or shoveling snow, it’s the perfect next layer on top of the previous two.
- I can throw them on over top of just about any outfit
- They are warm even without layers underneath (great for fall or spring days where you don’t need AS much layering or when it’s cold enough to need protection but warm enough that only a jacket suffices)
My husband has had several of the Men’s Columbia fleeces over the years as well and goes almost nowhere without his!
I’m pretty sure the standard Nebraska Uniform is a pair of jeans and a hoodie. You can honestly get by most days with this outfit. For us gals, leggings, boots and a sweater is the typical go-to apparel.
But again, there are days when having additional pants for winter are worth having!
Fleece Lined Pants
I LOVE these for fall outings or especially cold outdoor days!
If you plan on shoveling, sledding or playing in the snow, then a pair of snow pants is worth having.
Here is the snowsuit I personally bought and have really liked. While the bibbed look is a little funny, I can’t stand snow down my pants when I’m sledding or skiing!
I don’t care who you are, if you live in Nebraska in the winter, you need a good winter coat!
In fact, a warm, quality rainproof coat may even be all you need for layers in the winter if you are just commuting to and from work in a car. Here is a great guide to help you figure out the best winter coats.
Gloves and Mittens
You’ll want a good pair of gloves or mittens in that coat of yours at all times.
Of course now-a-days, you can’t get away without having touchscreen gloves
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A simple beanie style hat is a must for Nebraska winters.
As a girl whose hairstyle is in a pony or bun more days than it’s not, I’m loving the “messy bun” beanies!
I’m an absolute sucker for scarves. I have entirely way too many in my closet!! But if you are a woman, it’s a great way to easily accessorize in the winter without much thought AND stay warm!!
Alright, so you’ve already gotten the theme of “depending on what your Nebraska winter activities entail…” theme here and footwear is really no exception.
No matter what, you’ll want a pair of waterproof shoes, regardless of what you plan on doing in the winter months. When that snow starts to melt, you are walking in slush city!!!
Arguably just as important as waterproof, get a pair of shoes that have good tread. It’s actually quite sad just how many injuries happen a year from ice falls alone.
Our family is a Merrel Family. We love how they look like typical tennis shoes, meaning you can wear them daily, yet are sturdy enough for hiking. The Goretex Moab Merrel’s comes in both fashionable women’s styles as well as sturdy men’s shoes as well.
It’s a little embarrassing that we are THAT couple- we have the same fleece jackets AND shoes…and yes, we have accidentally both worn them at the same time!
My husband goes a step further for snow shoveling days and actually has YakTrax.If you plan on doing any shoveling outside, having a pair of Yak Trax are great to have on hand, as you never know just how icy things can get in the Cornhusker State.
You may be able to get by without boots, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. A pair of good boots is just so handy to have, as you never know what the weather will bring.
I LOVE my flat-heeled boots in the winter! They are great over a pair of leggings and keep me warm while also looking cute.
But if I’m out in the real snow (aka playing with the kiddos, sledding, shoveling, trekking through muck)
Even the best of shoes or boots need good socks underneath.
Several years ago, my husband got some SmartWool socks for Christmas. Suddenly, they started ending up in my sock drawer enough times that he bought me my own!
They are SO warm and comfortable, these are often the only socks I wear in the winter!
It sounds silly, but these are now a MUST have in our household in the winter, even just to wear around the home.
And just when you get all your winter gear out, don’t be surprised to hit a gorgeous 70 degree day mid December where you’ll be ready to break out your flip flops!!! Ah, welcome to Nebraska!
What is the coldest month in Nebraska
Every year is a bit different, but traditionally, you can expect January, or sometimes February to be the coldest months, where the highs typically don’t reach much higher than 40 degrees.
What is the average winter temperature in Nebraska
A typical Nebraskan winter will see average highs in the mid 30s, but can reach well below zero as well (yes, as the high for the day!!!)
How much snow does Nebraska get
Some years, it feels like we don’t get much snow and other years it seems like the snow will never end. We can see white flurries as early as October and as late as April some years but the average throughout the winter is around 30 inches.
How cold does it get in Omaha, Nebraska
The coldest months in Omaha last from about mid November to the end of February. Mid 30s is a typical temperature of what you might expect in Omaha in the winter.