Black Hills Weather: Winter storm bulletins now issued for portions of the Black Hills Region

The Black Hills Region is starting to see snow moving into the area, as bulletins for our encroaching winter storm are issued


Picture 1

– A winter storm warning has been issued by the national weather service in Rapid City for areas North and Northeast of the Black Hills.

  • This warning runs from 6 PM Wednesday evening until 11 PM Thursday
  • Impacts include a glaze of ice, followed by 4″-8″ of snow and wind gusts pushing 40 MPH out of the North and Northwest
  • Some locations closer to the North Dakota border could see close to 12″ of snow.

– A winter weather advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service in Rapid City for areas along I-90 that include portions of NE Wyoming, the Black Hills and South Central South Dakota

  • For Sheridan and Johnson County: This warning runs until Noon Thursday: Snow totals running between 2″-4″ look likey for this areas, with pockets of 5″-6″ being possible.
  • For the Black Hills, including all of Pennington County and the northern half of Campbell County, WY… this warning runs until 11 PM Thursday: A glaze of ice can be expected, along with 2″-5″ of snow and 45 MPH wind gusts out of the northwest. Blowing snow will likely lead to difficult travel conditions
  • For Jackson, Bennett and Oglala Lakota County, this advisories runs until 5 PM Thursday: Snow totals are expected to be along the 1″-3″ range with ice accumulations up to one tenth of an inch.

Blizzard warnings and ice storm warnings have been issued for other portions of South Dakota. Any travel towards Central South Dakota or North Dakota should be seriously reconsidered given these forecasted conditions.

Snow Total

  • The timeline of this storm has moved up to Wednesday evening, which means snow could begin falling in portions of the Black Hills as soon as 6-8 PM. Adjust schedules accordingly

Futurecast 2

  • Many of our heavier snow bands will move through the area between 10 PM and 2 AM Thursday morning.
  • Winds will also begin picking up out of the Northwest during this time period, leading to blowing and drifting snow.

Futurecast 3

  • Most accumulating snow will be ending by Thursday morning, but blowing snow and hazardous road conditions could continue through most of the day Thursday.

Picture 2

  • I’ve taken snow totals down about 1″ across the Black Hills as most of the heavy snow will likely end up just to our Northeast.
  • Freezing rain and freezing drizzle will likely cut into our overall snow totals, but that means travel conditions will be just as difficult if not more difficult in some cases. Check the forecast and road conditions before you head out the door.



Here’s my forecast discussion from Monday night.

Perkins, Ziebach, Haakon and Northern Meade County should look to preparations for a significant winter storm Thursday with at least 6″+ of snow and 50 MPH winds.

Right now, the Black Hills themselves will likely see a couple inches of snow combined with possible high winds. Exact totals are extremely volatile in the latest runs… but 3″-6″ for places like Rapid City and the I-90 corridor seems reasonable at this point.

Full snow maps with newest forecast guidance will be put together tomorrow, when models are in better agreement and a genuine forecast can be offered for snow totals.


RAPID CITY S.D. – A strong storm system is expected to move through the Northern Plains late Wednesday through Saturday, bringing potential impacts that include:

  • Snow accumulations that could exceed 6″+
  • High winds, creating conditions for blowing snow and hazardous driving conditions
  • Sub-zero temperatures combined with high winds could lead to bitterly cold wind chill factors in the negative teens and twenties.

Let’s break down what we know so far.

Jet Stream

  • A large trough is expected to push into the west and deepen over the great basin. As the jet stream pushes east, the associated energy will deepen into a strong low pressure system as it descends off of the Rocky Mountains.
  • Ingredients will be pulled into the counterclockwise cyclone, including cold air from the northwest and warm, moisture rich air from the southeast.
  • As the low pressure system deepens, winds will begin to increase as it swirls towards the center.

Futurecast 1

  • Moisture pulled in from the southeast will wrap around and meet cold air being drawn in from the northwest.
  • There has been many cases where moisture was limited… dry, cold air from the northwest limited overall moisture. So far it does not look like moisture return will be a problem with this system.
  • The location of the low pressure system will vastly determine eventual impacts and so far models are trending south, placing the deformation zone (snow zone) over portions of western South Dakota.
  • This is a trend worth monitoring, as a slight shift in track could result in significant changes in impacts.

Futurecast 2

  • Snow accumulations will likely shift around over the next couple days – so it is important that forecasts are checked frequently to monitor developments.
  • Even if snow accumulations are lower than expected, impacts will still likely be felt across a large portion of the Northern Plains.

Futurecast 4

  • Sustained winds pushing 35+ MPH are possible late Wednesday through Friday.
  • These winds will be persistent, cold and will compound impacts such as snow and wind chill factors.


We’ve had several chances at the batters box this season to hit one out of the park, but dry air has complicated each of these previous storm systems. Moisture content, this far, does not seem to be an issue for potential snow accumulations. There’s still a chance impacts are steered away from the Black Hills Region, but someone in the Northern Plains will likely see a good storm late this week… and we’re in the running.

Ranchers, producers, and those travelling later this week will need to prepare for potential sub-freezing temperatures and high winds regardless of snow accumulations. There is much higher confidence in wind and temperatures than snow potential at this point in the game.

As we move forward each day, we’ll have a much better idea of location and system development.

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We appreciate you trusting us with your forecast, we understand the implications and do not take the responsibility lightly. Stay tuned for updates

-Brant, Joey, Anna and Bob.

Categories: Local News, Weather Daily