Storm Center PM Update – Monday, October 7: Talking about snow

Forecast

Today is probably the nicest day of weather we will see all week. Skies have been sunny, and a light southerly breeze has helped warm temperatures a few degrees warmer than normal, into the upper 60s to low 70s.

Skies will be clear tonight, and a south wind will help hold temperatures in the upper 40s.

Tomorrow will be as warm or warmer than today, though winds will also be stronger. Skies will be mostly sunny, and we’re forecasting highs in the low 70s, with a south wind that will be especially strong in SE KELOLAND, about 20-30 mph. Winds won’t be quite as strong to the north and west.

On Wednesday clouds will become more abundant with an approaching cold front. We’ll go with partly to mostly cloudy skies, temperatures in the upper 60s to around 70 East Rive… and a northwesterly wind West River that will keep temperatures in the 40s and 50s. We expect afternoon rain in western South Dakota to change to snow late in the day as strong north winds take over.

Winds will continue to strengthen on Thursday as the strong cold front passes through the area. Skies will be cloudy, and we expect rainfall that will mix with or change to snow by Thursday night. The only exception is Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND, where precipitation may remain as rain until well after sunset. Temperatures on Thursday will be in the 50s in Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND, but only in the 40s in northern and central KELOLAND. Rapid City will probably see temperatures hold in the low 30s.

Friday looks cloudy, snowy, windy, and cold across KELOLAND. We expect a mix of rain and snow in Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND, with a brisk northerly wind and a high around 40. Areas to the north and west will remain cloudy, with a strong wind that will hold temperatures in the 30s, which is 20-30 degrees colder than normal.

Here’s what I’m thinking about Thursday and Friday. I am pretty certain that it will be very windy and sharply colder, and that we are going to receive widespread and possibly significant precipitation. Here is what I think, but with less certainty: Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND are more likely to get more rain than snow because of the temperatures at cloud level and below. If Sioux Falls is going to get snow, it is most likely on Friday morning, and that would put it in the inch or two range in Sioux Falls, and even less to the southeast. As far as northern and western South Dakota, heavy snowfall in excess of 6” cannot be ruled out, and the expected winds will likely cause travel problems those two days.

For the weekend, we will see the storm slowly depart to the northeast. We’ll keep lingering snowfall in the forecast for Saturday in central and NE South Dakota. We will still have abundant clouds and strong winds in central and eastern South Dakota, including Sioux Falls. Highs will be in the upper 30s to around 40 with strong winds. We may even have to dial back high temperatures a few more degrees where there is snow on the ground.

Even Sunday will be breezy and cold, though we should see some breaks in the persistent cloud cover. We’re going with highs in the upper 30s to mid 40s, colder where there is snow cover.

Temperatures should start warming back up beginning on Monday, with the 40s to around 50 degrees. It looks like temperatures should warm back to normal by the end of next week, which should melt whatever snowfall we pick up this week.

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