Skies are cloudy and we’ve had widespread but light rain showers. Totals being reported so far are generally under a tenth of an inch. Underneath the clouds it is a cooler day than yesterday – but not too far from April normal – in the 50s.
Tonight we will have more rainfall, perhaps a little heavier, moving west to east across KELOLAND. In Aberdeen and the north, it is more likely to be light to moderate snow. Temperatures will drop into the upper 20s, with the exception of Sioux Falls, where the low will be in the 30s with rain. Winds will really pick up in western and central South Dakota, and they will be from the northeast, which will help to turn the rain over to snow toward tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow will be a rainy day in Sioux Falls and southeast KELOLAND, where an easterly breeze will keep us in the mid 30s. There is a chance we could have some freezing rain in the SE quarter of South Dakota. The rest of KELOLAND will have strong northeasterly winds that will cause rain to change over to snow. Temperatures will be in the 30s, but the winds will cause blizzard conditions in the open areas because wind speeds will be 30 mph or more, especially in western South Dakota.
A Blizzard Warning is in effect for most of KELOLAND tomorrow. It begins in western South Dakota during the morning, and takes effect in the rest of the area tomorrow afternoon and evening, and run into Friday morning. A variety of other warnings and advisories are posted in northern and southeastern KELOLAND.
As far as snowfall totals, we are still looking at significant accumulations. Much of the blizzard warning area can expect a foot or more of snow. It is not impossible some places could get more than two feet of snow, with the most likely place for that to occur is west of the Mitchell through Huron areas.
Sioux Falls and the southeast are a big problem for us. While the majority of the forecast models give Sioux Falls a foot or more of snow, we are wary because we have seen this scenario in the past. We have seen storms strengthen so much that they draw warm air and rainfall into Sioux Falls or even farther north, and Sioux Falls gets lots of rain, but not as much snow as the forecast models had been anticipating. This is something we will have to keep a very close eye on in the next few hours.
Speaking of rainfall, there is still a potential for heavy rain, or thunderstorms, or even freezing rain in the SE quadrant of KELOLAND. This too is something we will have to be wary of.
If you are interested in the probability of any given location getting a foot or more of snowfall, the odds are unusually high. This could be a whopper of a storm. Sioux Falls and the SE will get mostly rainfall on Wednesday, while our current forecast gives Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND the best chance of snowfall on Thursday into Friday morning.
The system should pull away Friday afternoon, with breezy conditions and fresh snow cover holding our temperatures in the low to mid 50s, which is about twenty degrees colder than this part of April.
The weekend is looking partly to mostly sunny and a few degrees warmer, in the 30s to low 40s.