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January 08, 2013 05:19 PM

Changing Winds Are In The Forecast

sioux falls, sd

The wind is part of life on the prairie, but the causes of the wind change with the seasons.                

The winds of KELOLAND make such a difference in the perception of a day's weather.  To explain the different types of winter winds, let's use the upcoming forecast as an example.

First, Tuesday's breezy weather is the result of a clipper system in southern Canada, with winds funneling in from the northwest where the mild Pacific air collides with the cold Arctic air.  This time, the Pacific air wins the battle and temperatures will remain relatively mild.

By Wednesday night, south winds will increase, mainly East River.  South winds in January sometimes seem colder because often they bring some moisture with increased relative humidity.  That extra moisture often means south winds aren't as efficient at delivering those higher gusts to the surface like we see with northwest wind.  Sometimes, the Buffalo Ridge will experience much stronger south or southwest winds during the winter due to the higher elevations. 

The third wind event, and likely the one with the biggest impact, will be the arctic winds Friday night and Saturday.  Arctic fronts can bring a sharp change to both temperature and wind speeds as a sharp pressure change is associated with the colder air.  These cold winds often create blowing snow, a problem that very well may accompany the front this weekend. 

Just another reason why we pay special attention to our ever changing winds in KELOLAND.

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