Storm Center PM Update – Wednesday, December 16: Warming through the weekend

Forecast

Clouds continue to filter the sun over eastern KELOLAND, while there is brighter sunshine West River. Thanks to a southerly breeze, at least it is warmer than yesterday, with temperatures struggling into the low 30s. Western South Dakota is warmer, but also windier with a brisk NW breeze.

Tonight the winds will die down, and the sky will be mostly clear as the cloud deck finally moves east. But when the clouds leave, there will be a window of opportunity for fog to form in the usual places in eastern KELOLAND. Lows tonight will be in the teens.

The warming trend will continue on Thursday, with mostly sunny skies pushing the temperatures into the upper 30s to low 40s, which is more than ten degrees above normal. We’ll get to the upper 40s in western South Dakota.

Another front will drop down on us on Friday, with mostly cloudy skies. Temperatures will remain mild, in the upper 30s to low 40s. With the incoming front there could be some snow flurries, but a lack of moisture will prevent any real snowfall amounts – with the possible exception of Rapid City and the west, where an inch will be possible.

We expect a little better sunshine on Saturday. Highs will be in the mid to upper 30s East River to the upper 40s to low 50s West River. A bigger surge of warm air means Sunday will be extremely warm across KELOLAND, with the mid 40s East River (close to 20 degrees above average) to the low 50s West River.

Monday will also be very warm – and breezy – in the upper 40s. Tuesday will be partly cloudy and warm again, but a weak disturbance could give us light snowfall in western and northern South Dakota. It continues to look like a moisture-starved event, so we’re only expecting flurries or perhaps some light accumulations. Sioux Falls could get those flurries on Wednesday, as a stronger surge or cold air drops down on us.

We’re not expecting any snowfall on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. So it’s looking like it will be a Brown Christmas all across KELOLAND. At least temperatures will be a little more like a normal Christmas, as we cool back into the 30s. After that, it looks like temperatures will warm a few degrees for the end of Christmas week.

Looking at the forecast data, it appears our drought conditions will continue through the end of the year. We just don’t see any signals for any significant snowfall anytime soon.

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