Storm Center PM Update – Friday, January 17: Snow tonight, blizzard conditions Saturday

Forecast

The winter storm continues, with widespread snow in the eastern half of KELOLAND. A dry slot – a snow free area – is making its way north into SE South Dakota. It will give a temporary pause from the snowfall in Sioux Falls, before another area of snow wraps back in from the west tonight. Brisk south winds in excess of 20 mph have brought moisture in to create the snow, but have also held temperatures near-normal, in the 20s. Our snowfall forecast projections from Wednesday still look good.

Tonight winds will switch to the north and then the northwest, and then gain strength. Additional snowfall amounts will be fairly moderate overnight, but the winds will create their own problems in the form of widespread blowing snow. Whiteout conditions are likely in open areas. Wind gusts will approach 50 mph (or even more), and temperatures will fall into the single digits above- or below-zero.

Tomorrow we will have sunny skies during the afternoon, but blizzard conditions will be created as northwest winds of 20-40 mph or higher will pick up the snow and blow it around. It will be a ground blizzard situation, where it is possible visibility will be near-zero, but if you look straight up you will see blue sky. Temperatures won’t budge, with highs in the single digits East River, and the teens or even 20s with sunny skies in the west.

Sunday will be mostly sunny but cold. Highs will struggle to get above zero, after a very cold morning. Winds will be from the northwest, but speeds will be fairly gentle.

Monday (MLK Day) will also be cold. Skies will be clear on Monday, with teens below zero Monday morning, and highs a few degrees either side of zero.

A gradual warming trend will follow for the rest of next week. Highs will be near-normal. The skies will mostly be dry, though we have a shot at some snowfall by the end of the week.

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