Blizzard Warnings Issued: Time to take action

Warnings have been issued, and a timeline has been established as to the intensity and track of this Spring storm

We’re going to break down each region, piece by piece. Below is each region highlighted and the specific warning for each area.

  • Blizzard warnings have been issued for areas just East of the foothills, due to the exposed nature of the great plains and the expected high wind gusts
  • Don’t pay attention so much to individual snow accumulations, as blowing snow will make travel hazardous regardless
  • Those in Oglala Lakota, Bennett and Jackson Counties need to take this seriously, as flooding could be a direct concern after this storm

  • Due to up-slope Easterly Winds, The Eastern Foothills could receive heavy pockets of snowfall.
  • Although Sturgis and Rapid City fall just below Blizzard warnings, these may be upgraded over the next 24 hours
  • Blowing, and drifting snow will be a concern regardless. Do not focus so much on individual accumulations as much as hazardous travel conditions

  • The Central and Northern Black Hills, although expecting less wind, will expect more Snowfall due to elevation.
  • 35 mph wind gusts will still create ares of blowing and drifting snow.
  • Please note that your warning starts at midnight tonight, and not Wednesday morning, so preparations need to be made earlier than other areas

  • Wyoming is looking to see *less* impacts but that hardly means no impacts, use extreme caution in making travel plans during this time
  • A distinct dry slot looks likely to develop around Newcastle, so snow totals could be much lower in that area than forecasted
  • Be wary of blowing and drifting snow, however.

  • Custer County and Fall River County look to receive *slightly* less impacts than other areas, but still well within winter storm warning criteria.
  • 40 mph wind gusts will make travel difficult anywhere out on the plains, and localized heavy snow in the higher elevations in more than possible.
  • A dry slot looks likely to develop near Newcastle, Wyoming, but could easily inch over towards Western portions of Custer and Fall River County. This would lead to lesser totals than forecast. It is best to assume the criteria that has been issued, however!

  • Areas just North of the Black Hills will have to contend with localized heavy snow amounts and windy conditions.
  • Areas near Faith could see localized heavier spots and winds that exceed criteria at times, travel will be difficult if not impossible

  • Do no mistake Winter Weather Advisories as *no* impacts. Harding and Perkins county will be on a VERY fine line of accumulation where one half of the county receives up to half a foot of snow, with northern areas of the county receive little to none.
  • It is best to assume the entire area will receive the criteria posted, but amounts will vary greatly in this area. Travel will still be difficult
  • EKALAKA AND CARTER COUNTY, MONTANA – A warning has not been issued for your area, as there is still debate as to what if any impacts will be felt by your area, but 2-4″ of snow with 30-40 mph winds is a reasonable estimate at this time

Here’s a breakdown of the expected radar coverage over the next 48 hours

Here is a breakdown of accumulations by pallet. Obviously with storms this large numbers will vary and not always meet criteria, but hopefully this helps give you an idea of what areas could see more impacts.

Stay tuned, this page will be constantly updated with the newest information as it becomes available. Bob Riggio, Megan Murat and myself will be putting our heads together with regards to this forecast throughout the day and make adjustments as needed. Be safe out there folks, this is a serious storm. -Brant

 

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