Storm Center PM Update: Here comes that weekend winter storm

Forecast

The Christmas fog is gone, but thick clouds remain over most of KELOLAND. There have been a few peeks of sunshine in western SD. Temperatures have still been near- or above-normal in the 20s East River to the 30s in the west. But our focus is on a developing storm that is currently located in southern California, but is coming this way.

Tonight skies will be partly to mostly cloudy, with lows mostly in the teens and a gentle westerly breeze.

Tomorrow we might get a little sunshine in the morning into the afternoon hours, but then clouds will increase from the south to the north as a storm system moves toward us from the southwest. Friday’s highs will be above-normal, in the upper 20s in the north to the upper 30s in the south, with a light south breeze.

Beginning late Friday night we will see a storm come in from the south and then spread across the KELOLAND region. During the day on Saturday we expect a widespread winter storm to affect all of KELOLAND except for Sioux Falls and the SE (including NW Iowa) where we could get some decent amounts of rainfall.

We expect Saturday to be cloudy and snowy over most of KELOLAND – though the current track of the system give Rapid City and western South Dakota only a glancing blow – though still several inches of wind-driven snow. Another issue we are dealing with is that Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND may get more rain than snow on Saturday, as moist air streams into the region. This looks like a big, wet system, with much of the area expecting an inch or more of water at cloud level, and that could create 6-10” of snowfall if it all comes as frozen snow – but Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND could get much of that water as rainfall, which could create a sloppy mess or even freezing rain that produces an icing threat as temperatures fall. In any case, Sioux Falls is now considered a decent threat to receive the ¾” of rain or melted snow needed to make 2019 the new record for wettest year.

Highs on Saturday will be in the upper 20s in the north to the mid 30s in the south, and strong winds on Sunday will keep the snow falling, and perhaps change rainfall in Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND to snow on Sunday as colder air is drawn in. Highs will be in the upper 20s in the north to the low 30s in the south as snowfall winds down. Sunday’s winds may make it feel colder, and the strength of those winds could produce blizzard conditions in a good portion of KELOLAND.

It now appears the storm will slow down as it moves away on Monday, and that will keep snow in the forecast for Monday as well. And Monday will be breezy and colder too, with highs in the 20s with that northerly wind.

If we get some breaks in the clouds Tuesday morning it could be cold, in the single digits. Skies will be partly to mostly sunny for New Year’s Eve, with highs in the teens to low 20s in central and eastern KELOLAND, while Rapid City recovers to the 30s. Temperatures should be a little warmer, near normal, from Wednesday (New Year’s Day) through the end of the workweek – although if there is a thick snowpack from weekend snow, that could hold back our attempts to warm back up.

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