Storm Center PM Update – Wednesday, March 18: Winter returns for the first day of Spring


Skies are cloudy across KELOLAND, but temperatures are warmer than normal, in the 40s, with a very light breeze, as we await the storm system coming in from the southwestern US.

Winter Weather Advisories, Watches, and Warnings are posted for southern KELOLAND, starting late tonight in southwest and south central South Dakota. The Winter Weather Advisory begins in Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND at 1 PM tomorrow.

Tonight we will have drizzle or rain spread across the area, and it will mix with snow in western South Dakota as the winter storm begins. Low temperatures will mostly in the 20s. Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND will remain in the 30s, and as rain begins we could have a little thunder and lightning.

Tomorrow will be cloudy and very windy, with north winds of 20-40 mph. Rain will eventually mix with and then change to snow from northwest to southeast as those north winds bring in colder air. Highs will be in the 30s to low 40s, but we expect temperatures to fall during the afternoon. Sioux Falls and the SE could actually see a half inch of rain before the changeover to snow. Ironically, it will probably be snowing in southern KELOLAND when Spring officially begins at 10:49 PM

As far as snowfall amounts, we expect the heavier amounts to be farther south, greater toward the Nebraska border. We expect very little snowfall in the northern half of South Dakota. Sioux Falls is a big question mark because of the uncertainty of the change from rain to snow, but we’re thinking around 3” of snowfall before the whole thing ends late tomorrow night.

The system should exit KELOLAND very early Friday morning. Skies will quickly clear, and the wind speeds should diminish Friday afternoon. Friday’s high temperatures will be fifteen to twenty degrees colder than normal, in the mid to upper 20s.

The weekend looks mostly sunny. Saturday will be cool, with high temperatures only in the low 30s East River – about ten degrees colder than normal. With mostly sunny skies, temperatures will be warmer, in the 40s, on Sunday.

The warming trend will continue on Monday, with temperatures a few degrees above-normal in the mid to upper 40s, though some rain showers will be possible in the warmer air. Tuesday will be even warmer, in the low 50s. While we will bring some rain showers into the forecast for Wednesday, the temperature trend is for temperatures to be near or above normal through the end of March.

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