We have a very busy forecast coming up for KELOLAND the next couple of days. First, a winter storm watch is in effect for much of the region north and west of Sioux Falls. Blizzard or near blizzard conditions are possible in the watch area as heavy snow and strong winds will create problems for travel from west to east through the day on Friday.

First, thunderstorms are still expected tonight in the Sioux Falls area, with a marginal risk of severe weather and some hail.

We expect most of the thunderstorms will track just south of Sioux Falls after 10pm.

There could also be some locally heavy rain just south of Sioux Falls. We can’t rule out some run-off issues due the snow piles still on the ground.

The heavy snow threat is still developing, but we have included a first look at our snow forecast. Remember, due to the volatility of these late March storms, the track of the heaviest snow may still shift a bit either north or south. While the Sioux Falls area is on the low end of the snow totals, there will be more than enough wind Friday night to create visibility problems.

There will also be some freezing rain with this storm. Watertown is most likely to see some of this glazing, but we’ll continue to watch the trends.

Here’s a closer look at the wind forecast. Notice the gusts going over 40mph Friday afternoon across much of eastern KELOLAND, with some areas over 50mph.

Futurecast shows the timeline of the storm the next 48 hours. We should also point out areas of freezing drizzle may occur tomorrow morning in the northeast ahead of the main snow band. There also will likely be some freezing rain during the afternoon in the Watertown area. Obviously, the heavy band of snow combined with the wind will create extremely poor travel conditions for some of you.

The pattern next week is still looking very active. There will likely be heavy snow and wind on the backside of the low, with severe weather on the front side of the storm. We’ll have more details in the coming days.

Here are the details of the forecast.