Freezing rain is continuing Friday afternoon, and for some areas in South Dakota, it will last through the night. We’re already getting reports of power outages in Hand and Hyde Counties due to the icing. Very slick roads are also reported where the freezing rain is falling and you can expect slick areas to last through Saturday morning. Ice accumulations will average a quarter to a half inch.
As of 2 p.m., many locations in southeast South Dakota were hovering around 32 degrees, just enough to get a coating of ice on trees and untreated surfaces. Rain will continue through the afternoon and into Friday night, so the surface temperature will be very critical over the next 24 hours. The rain/freezing rain will slowly change to snow Saturday night and into Sunday with snow amounts of 1-3 inches. Winds will also increase on Sunday, which will cause blowing snow and reduced visibilities. The reduced visibilities will last into Monday morning.
Widespread rain/freezing rain will continue Friday afternoon and into Friday evening. The surface temperatures in northeast South Dakota will be critical through the day. Unfortunately, temperatures above freezing will be harder to come by in north central and northeast South Dakota. There are already reports of ice coating many communities in this area. Snow will start to mix in after sunset and I expect all snow west of the James River overnight, with the wintry mix continuing east of the James. The wintry mix will become all snow east of the James River Saturday afternoon. Snow amounts in north central South Dakota may approach 6-10 inches by Sunday with amounts in the northeast (East of the James) at 3-6 inches.
After a quick coating of a tenth of an inch of ice, snow will begin to fly later Friday evening and continue into Saturday morning. Snow amounts in western South Dakota will range from 4-10 inches with the higher totals coming from the Black Hills. Western South Dakota will have stronger winds sooner with speeds averaging 20-40 miles per hour Saturday afternoon. The strong winds will cause blowing/drifting snow, which will reduce visibilities.
As the storm system moves through South Dakota on Saturday, some areas will experience a lull in the wintry precipitation. The bulk of the precipitation will fall Friday night and into Saturday morning east of the James River. If you do get caught under a lull, you’ll probably get the snow as the storm system leaves on Sunday.
Any way you look at it, this system will bring dangerous winter conditions to South Dakota.
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