Mild weather continues across KELOLAND, though a northwest breeze will cool us a few degrees from yesterday.

2 PM

Tonight will be mild again, with lows in the 20s. A gentle breeze will slowly wind around from the west to the northwest.

Tomorrow will be partly cloudy, though clouds will thicken as we go through the day. Temperatures will drop a few degrees, though they will still be above normal for mid January. Highs will be in the mid to upper 30s East River, and the 40s in the west.

Things will change dramatically on Friday, as a winter storm moves in from the northwest. It will be cloudy and breezy, with 15-25 mph winds, as the low pressure system comes through. It will also be much cooler, in the mid 20s to low 30s. Rapid City will be very windy, with northwest winds of 30-50 mph.

About amounts: The storm’s pace continues to slow – with snowfall now expected to continue through Friday night – and the band of heavier snow continues to trend a little further from Minnesota into eastern South Dakota. The trend is concerning, because the band of heavier snowfall is now projected from I-29 to the east, especially in any areas near wind turbines in eastern South Dakota and SW Minnesota. Current model indications are that there will be a broad area of 4-8 inches of snowfall. West of I-29 we could see some 4-6” amounts, including Aberdeen and the James River valley. That’s what we are looking at right now, though there will certainly be some fine tuning as the storm gets organized.

A Winter Storm Watch is already posted for east central South Dakota and SW Minnesota. As we often say, the closer you are to the wind turbine farms, the more likely you are to see the heavier amounts of snow.

With the expectation of snow on the ground, we’ve chilled our forecast for the weekend. Saturday will be partly to mostly sunny, in the single digits or below zero Saturday morning. Afternoon highs will only be in the teens East River, coldest where we have a thicker snowpack. Western South Dakota, which is only expecting an inch or two of snow, will be much warmer.

Sunday looks like the warmer day of the weekend, in the upper 20s to low 30s East River, and breezy and much warmer West River.

Looking ahead to next week, we will start with mild temperatures on Monday and Tuesday before we get another surge of much cooler air for the second half of next week, continuing through the following weekend (January 22-23).