Black Hills Weather: Potential spring storm later this week
Long range guidance has finally revealed clues to a potential spring storm later this week, which could include rain, snow, and breezy conditions
Before we dive into later this week, lets get a quick recap of the next couple of days.
- Conditions will be cool and windy Sunday, with a few rain/snow showers in the Northern Hills and NW South Dakota. Temperatures will be in the 30s and 40s.
- Wind Advisories will be in effect for areas North and East of the Black Hills until 6 PM this evening. Northwesterly winds could gust up to 55 MPH.
- Monday will be almost a carbon copy of Sunday, with cool temperatures and windy conditions expected.
- Northwesterly winds could gust up to 50 MPH – Fire concerns through Wednesday morning will be relatively high given our dry conditions and relatively windy days.
- Looking through the whole week, today through Tuesday will be our windy days, with temperatures expecting to stay in the 30s and 40s through the week.
- Tuesday into Wednesday, snow showers are expected in North Dakota, a few of those could sneak their way into Harding and Perkins County.
- Wednesday is where critical components of this forecast start to wildly diverge.
- There’s high confidence that a low pressure system will be descending off the Colorado Rockies and into the great Plains Wednesday through Friday.
- There is high confidence that cooler air is expected in the region during this time, and breezy easterly winds could start by Wednesday across our region.
- Some guidance suggests rain and snow could move into NE Wyoming and SW South Dakota as early as Wednesday evening.
- This will all depend on *where* the low pressure system decides to exit the Rockies, and which direction it travels once it lands in the front range.
- So far, it looks as though the low pressure system will be far south of the “sweet spot” that delivers large accumulations of rain/snow for our area – our sweet spot generally being the Nebraska Pandhandle.
- Many models take the low pressure system closer to the Colorado/Kansas border, even as far south as Oklahoma.
- This would seriously diminish returns of snow and rain for the Black Hills Region, leaving us with a few scattered rain/snow showers Wednesday through Friday
- High Winds are not expected *as of now* to be a major component of this forecast – but there could be breezy conditions on and off over this time period from the East and eventually Northwest.
- With low pressure traveling so far South, Cheyenne and Denver is expected to receive the bulk of action by Thursday, with the Black Hills Region getting leftovers.
- Even with just leftovers, we could see several inches of snow in the higher elevations of the Black Hills and a rain/snow mix in the plains.
- All of this is generally expected to be along and South of I-90 at this point.
- Travel could potentially be a mess for SE Wyoming and Western Nebraska by late Thursday/Friday morning.
- Notice the patchwork nature of snow and rain activity in the Black Hills, where dry air could plague significant accumulations of either rain or snow.
- By late Friday/Early Saturday we are wrapping up this system as it pushes to the East, causing trouble for the Mississippi River Valley.
- In short, so far guidance shows most of the action of this potential Spring Storm could swing well South of our area, leading to only light to moderate impacts.
- We are still keeping an eye on this system, because a shift northward by the center of low pressure would greatly shift impacts Northward into the Black Hills Region.
- Right now, there are few solutions that show this low potentially shifting north, but there are scenarios where this takes place. You never want to sleep on a Colorado Low pressure system if you live in the Black Hills.
FARMERS AND RANCHERS
- So far, most if any impacts look to take place along and South of I-90.
- Fall River, Custer, Oglala Lakota, Jackson and Bennett Counties… including all counties in Northeast Wyoming should be watching the forecast carefully over the next several days for this potential shift northward.
- It’s a little early to make significant calls on impacts, but by Late Monday/Early Tuesday we should have a much better idea of potential track and impacts of this system.
- Should the track shift northward – Rain, snow, and breezy conditions can be expected… with up to several inches of snow possible even in the plains.
- We will update as soon as relevant information becomes available with this forecast. Stay tuned.