Storm Center PM Update – Thursday, November 28: Powerful winter storm coming

Forecast

Thanksgiving has been cloudy and cool across KELOLAND, with temperatures in the 20s and a southeasterly breeze. We’ve also picked up some faint echoes on KELOLAND Liver Doppler indicating some light snowfall in eastern KELOLAND. There is a Winter Weather Advisory posted for the eastern half of KELOLAND the remainder of today through Friday morning. The concern isn’t so much about snowfall accumulation (we’re looking at under an inch), but that the light snow may be accompanied by light freezing drizzle that could make roadways slippery tonight and in the morning.

Tonight with freezing drizzle or light snow possible in eastern KELOLAND we will have lows in the mid 20s, and a SE breeze that will bring moist air into the region.

Black Friday will be cloudy and cool, with rain or freezing rain developing, especially during the afternoon and evening hours. High temperatures will be in the mid 30s. We expect that the rain will remain rain or freezing rain in Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND, so some icing will be possible by Friday night. Also possible during the Parade of Lights during the evening: sleet, or even some lightning along with that freezing rain. The highest risk of freezing rain appears to be east of the James River.

We already have a Winter Storm Warning posted for the Black Hills and central and north central South Dakota starting Friday evening through Sunday morning. We’re looking at snowfall amounts of 6” or more – and possibly even over a foot in some areas – along with strong winds. Travel will almost certainly be impacted. Western South Dakota is already under a Blizzard Warning, because we expect heavy snowfall will be blown around by 40-60 mph winds. Whiteouts are very likely. As always, heaviest snowfall will occur in the Black Hills this weekend, with one or two feet possible in the higher elevations. But it is not impossible that Pierre or even Aberdeen might see close to a foot of snow. A Winter Storm Watch is posted for much of eastern KELOLAND, though that will probably change as the details on the storm’s strength and path get ironed out.

Saturday will be cloudy and rainy in Sioux Falls and the SE, with a brisk SE wind pulling moist air into the region, possibly producing a half inch of rain and the previously mentioned icing threat. Northern and western KELOLAND will see the winter storm continue as the rain changes to snow in the strong northerly winds. Highs will be a few degrees either side of freezing.

Sunday we will see the storm spin away to the northeast, so the winter storm will end from west to east during the midday period. Sunday will still be very windy, so blowing snow could easily remain an issue on Sunday with travel impacts in rural and open areas. Sunday’s highs will remain a few degrees either side of freezing.

Monday will be cold, with single digits to the low teens in the morning above fresh snow cover. Monday afternoon’s highs will only be in the 20s to low 20s East River, despite partly cloudy skies.
The rest of the week looks fairly quiet, though the expected snowcover will keep us on the cool side of normal.

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