Thunderstorms rolled into the Lincoln area at 9 p.m. Wednesday and the threat of large hail prompted a severe thunderstorm warning for Lancaster County.
Meanwhile, the strong spring storm is packing heavy snow in other parts of the state.
As the rapidly developing thunderstorms moved north, ping pong ball-sized hail was reported near Pickrell and half dollar-size hail in Beatrice.
The storms formed over north-central Kansas early in the evening and moved rapidly to the northeast, prompting severe thunderstorm warnings in a number of counties.
The western half of the state, meanwhile, is preparing for a spring blizzard that forecasters warn will disrupt travel and complicate operations for farmers and ranchers.
A blizzard warning covers the entire state west of a Bloomfield-to-Beaver City line. Up to a foot of snow is possible over a wide area, with winds reaching 60 mph.
An area from Ogallala in southwest Nebraska through the Sandhills to Valentine is expected to be hit hard.
With snow falling in Wyoming, the Nebraska Department of Transportation closed Interstate 80 west of the Interstate 76 interchange at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Westbound lanes are shut down at Ogallala.
Snow began over extreme northwest Nebraska on Wednesday afternoon and was expected to expand to North Platte and Burwell by Wednesday night.
Blizzard conditions could extend to Lexington on Interstate 80 by Thursday morning.
The snow will expand south and east into Thursday evening, but no accumulation is expected in the Lincoln area.
In Lincoln, temperatures will gradually fall from near 70 on Wednesday to 38 by 5 p.m. Thursday.
Friday's high will hold in the 40s before temperatures rebound into the 50s for the weekend.