Storm Center PM Update – Friday, December 18: Warm into next week, colder for Christmas Eve


Fog ended overnight, though low stratus clouds remained in central and eastern KELOLAND along with an incoming cold front. There have been some sprinkles or flurries trying to develop, but the air beneath the cloud cover is very dry. Temperatures have been holding in the 30s to low 40s with winds turning to the northwest.

Tonight we’ll have a few lingering clouds in Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND while the skies will be clear everywhere else. That will allow temperatures to plummet to the low teens, with some parts of NE South Dakota dipping into the single digits with a very light NW breeze.

Tomorrow will be sunny for your Saturday, and temperatures will remain five to ten degrees above normal. With a south breeze, it will be in the mid to upper 30s East River, while western South Dakota will reach the mid 40s to low 50s.

A stronger surge of warm air means Sunday will be very warm across KELOLAND, with a westerly breeze pushing temps to the low to mid 40s East River (about 15 degrees above average) to the low 50s West River.

Monday will also be very warm – but breezy – in the low to mid 40s. Tuesday will be partly cloudy and warm again, in the low to mid 40s. But an area of low pressure will bring a strong cold front down from the northwest Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. There is the possibility of light snowfall (under an inch) with that front Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. But the main feature will be very strong NW winds. Temperatures will actually fall during the day on Wednesday, with afternoon temperatures only in the 27s. So even though snowfall Wednesday morning will be light, there may be some issues due to blowing of the light snow, and possibly a rapid cooling of the pavement.

Christmas Eve Thursday will start cold, with morning lows in the single digits. The rest of the day will be partly cloudy and colder than normal, with highs around 20s East River, while western South Dakota will recover to the 30s.

Christmas Day (Friday) will warm back above-normal, with the 30s East River and the 40s in the west.

Temperatures look to remain a few degrees above-normal for the rest of the year. Right now the only disturbance showing up in the models is a possible snowfall for the final weekend (December 26-27).

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