Storm Center PM Update – Monday, November 18: Sunny Tuesday and Thanksgiving outlook

Forecast

We’ve had widespread light rain showers pass through eastern South Dakota this afternoon, but amounts have been minimal – generally a couple tenths of an inch or less. Despite a brisk NW breeze and the cloud cover, it was a warmer than normal day, with highs in the upper 40s to low 50s East River. With sunshine, western South Dakota has been in the upper 50s.

Tonight we will see the clouds break up and move out. With a gentle westerly or northwesterly breeze, lows will be mild, in the upper 20s to low 30s.

Tomorrow will be sunny and warm. Highs will be in the upper 40s East River to the low 50s in the west. Winds should be fairly light, under 15 mph.

Wednesday will be much different. Skies will be mostly cloudy, and an incoming low pressure system will produce some precipitation. Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND will be in the low 50s, and see some afternoon drizzle becoming light rain later in the day. With cooler temperatures in the low 40s to the north and west, there will be a mix of light rain changing over to light snow later in the day. A period of freezing rain cannot be ruled out. Winds will start from the east and then change to a northerly direction from west to east.

Light snow is expected late Wednesday into Thursday morning. Snowfall amounts should be minimal, perhaps an inch or two – though there could be some higher amounts in SW MN and NW IA. The snowfall should end early in the morning, followed by a mostly sunny but cooler and breezy day. Afternoon highs will only be in the 30s.

Friday morning looks chilly, in the teens. But it will be a sunny day, with afternoon highs in the upper 30s to low 40s.

Temperatures should moderate for the weekend, with highs near or perhaps a few degrees above-normal. We expect low to mid 40s with mostly sunny skies on Saturday (western South Dakota could be around 50). Sunday should also be mostly sunny, and a couple degrees warmer in the mid 40s East River to the low 50s West River.

Skies will turn partly cloudy on Monday, with highs near normal in the low 40s.

The Thanksgiving travel period is a little beyond the 7 day forecast, but here is what I am thinking right now. It looks like we will have persistent northwest winds – though not necessarily very strong – much of next week. But that means colder temperatures. I expect below normal temperatures – mainly in the 30s – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thanksgiving Thursday. We will have at least a chance of rain or snow each day. Right now, the highest likelihood of snow would be on Wednesday through Thanksgiving Day. The holiday period is still quite a way out, and precipitation forecasts are less reliable that far in the future. But I would suggest that anyone with travel plans preceding the Thanksgiving holiday keep an eye on succeeding forecasts, and perhaps have a Plan B in mind should the weather interfere with travel.

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