Snowy and colder Friday and Friday night: Storm Center PM Update – Thursday, January 13

Forecast

Today is the last of our current spell of above average temperatures. Afternoon highs are around ten degrees above average for mid January. Clouds are thickening up ahead of the winter weather system that is coming in from the northwest.

2 PM

Tonight we’ll feel the leading edge of the Clipper system moving northwest to southeast, mainly affecting areas east of the Missouri River. The system should start with light snow during the overnight hours, with a light easterly breeze. Lows will be in the teens East River to the low 20s in the west.

Tomorrow will be cloudy and breezy and colder, with high temperatures in the mid 20s to mid 30s that will turn to the northwest as a cold front follows snowfall into the region.

About amounts: The snow will mainly impact areas along and east of the James River as it moves SE through the region. The combination of computer models is still pointing at the heaviest band of snowfall from the Coteau in NE South Dakota, through the I-29 corridor through Brookings, and then along the Buffalo Ridge in SW Minnesota. This is where the 4-8” amounts will be common – if not exceeded.

This is also the area where the Winter Storm alerts are in effect tomorrow. Western South Dakota will have to deal with very strong winds rather than heavy snowfall. Advisories and warnings will be in effect there.

Specifically for Sioux Falls: Snow will fall during the day, but the heaviest snow and strongest winds (30 mph gusts) during the nighttime hours. Latest forecast averages put down 4” in Sioux Falls by early Saturday morning. Aberdeen looks to be in the 3” range, while Pierre and Rapid City will get less than an inch.

Arctic air will come in behind the snow, so Saturday will be cold. Morning temperatures on Saturday could dip near or below zero – but the morning hours will also be breezy, so there will definitely be serious wind chills until about noon. Afternoon highs, with partly to mostly sunny skies, will only be in the teens East River, hampered by fresh snow cover. Western South Dakota will be warmer, in the 30s or even low 40s.

Sunday looks like the warmer day of the weekend, in the 30s East River, and breezy and low 40s West River.

Looking ahead to next week, we will start with mild temperatures on Monday (Martin Luther King Day) and Tuesday before we get another surge of colder air for Wednesday and the rest of next week, continuing through the following weekend (January 22-23).

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