A major winter storm is on the way this week for KELOLAND. A winter storm watch is in effect for the entire KELOLAND area starting tomorrow. The Sioux Falls area will see worsening conditions on Wednesday as strong winds and blowing snow gather strength Wednesday night into Thursday. We do expect blizzard conditions at times.

The chances of heavy snow are very high across much our KELOLAND region as you can see on the map below.

Futurecast will start with a mild, but windy day today. Colder air will push into eastern KELOLAND tonight, but a big contrast in temperatures will be in play tomorrow.

The southwest will be in the 40s with rain showers, while the northeast stays in the teens with light to moderate snow. Most of the daytime accumulation of snow will stay north of a Buffalo-Pierre-Huron-Sioux Falls line on Tuesday.

The storm will expand from the southwest Wednesday as the main low pulls into the plains. Heavy snow is likely Wednesday night into Thursday. The snow will be much drier than the early January storm because temperatures and wind chills will be much colder. This will only make the blowing and drifting problem worse. We expect large areas of eastern SD, northwest IA, and central/southern MN will see blizzard or near blizzard conditions during that time period. The weather should improve late Thursday into Friday.

The wind will certainly play a big role in this storm. We think the gusty and sustained northeast winds on Wednesday into Wednesday night will be biggest problem East River as the snow is falling. Winds could easily gust 40-50mph in the areas shaded in orange and red.

Here is our latest snow forecast. Keep in mind the biggest numbers should be in SW MN due to the northeast wind buffering into the Buffalo Ridge. Some folks could get as much as 20″ of snow between Pipestone and Marshall. Even the numbers West River are pretty high, so plan on travel to become difficult if not impossible Wednesday into Thursday.

Here’s a quick look at the forecast.

The cold behind this storm could get worse than currently forecast by Friday. While we expect a milder and dry weekend, another storm may impact parts of the region early next week.