A Very Close Shave: Potential winter storm expected to move close to the Black Hills Saturday

Heavy snow and gusty winds look likely Saturday for portions of South Dakota, Nebraska and other areas - which may include the Black Hills.


  • Winter Storm System will impact portions of South Dakota and Nebraska Friday night through Sunday morning.
  • Whether or not the Black Hills see any impacts from this system will be determined by inches, not miles – could be just East of us.
  • Breezy conditions at the very least likely this weekend, expect travel impacts in Nebraska, South Dakota Plains, and possibly South towards Cheyenne and Denver through Sunday morning.
  • Drier next week, with possibility of snow New Years Day – Full forecast discussion posted below!

  • Today will see leftover snow flurries in the Black Hills, with a few light snow bands in Custer and Fall River County.
  • Temperatures will be cooler, in the 20s and 30s for the most part and perhaps a ray of sunshine here or there today.

  • Tonight into Friday will be relatively quiet, with the exception of possibly freezing fog North and East of the Black Hills.
  • This fog could last into Friday morning, banking right up towards Rapid City and the I-90 corridor.
  • Could be a case where Rapid City has sunny skies and Box Elder has low visibility and freezing fog Friday morning.

  • Late Friday into Saturday a Winter Storm will likely impacts large swaths of the northern plains, picking up intensity early Saturday morning.
  • Gusty winds and Heavy snow are possible impacts… these impacts will mostly be in Central and Eastern South Dakota – but West River isn’t out of the woods yet on this.
  • Anywhere South or East of the Black Hills can expect impacts from this system so far, that much we have confidence in.

  • Saturday night won’t see much improvements, as heavy snow will continue to push through Nebraska, South Dakota and areas of North Dakota.
  • The Rain/Snow line will be somewhere near Sioux Falls throughout Saturday and Sunday, and will be monitored closely.
  • By Sunday morning most heavy snow should exit the region, but gusty winds could still make travel difficult with possible blowing snow.

  • For those trying to head towards Denver,the I-25 corridor or through the Nebraska panhandle, there could be impacts starting Saturday as well.
  • There is much more uncertainty regarding this area, and could shift before Saturday but is well worth monitoring.

  • Snow accumulations and impacts in the Black Hills region could be measured with a ruler rather than by satellites.
  • Snow maps show a rather blotchy appearance to where impacts are expected, but the truth is we could be looking at a situation where Wall, SD gets a dusting and Kadoka sees 6″+ of snow or more.
  • As we get closer to Saturday, impacts will become more clear – but the good news is most forecast guidance is trying to keep the heavier snow well East of us… we’ll see if that sticks.

  • No watches, warnings or advisories have been posted yet but this is a system well worth monitoring – especially if you had plans to travel this weekend East or South of the Black Hills.
  • Regardless of snow amounts, high winds are becoming more of a possibility Saturday and Sunday along with cold temperatures.
  • Next week looks drier until Wednesday where snow for New Years Day looks like a possibility.


Here’s the deal – this could be a big nothing-burger for Rapid City and the Black Hills. That’s the truth. The number of people who prepare for this system West River will directly impact whether or not we actually see impacts. The more people who prepare for it, the less likely we see something. The Less people who prepare for it, the more likely we get hammered – it’s science.

We know this weekend is important for travel, and we’ll be sure to keep this forecast updated with the latest. Thanks for trusting us with your forecast and hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Be safe out there! -Brant

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Categories: Local News, Weather Daily