Chinook Me Not: Warm temperatures give way to a taste of winter Wednesday

Southwesterly winds bringing vastly warmer temperatures this morning across the region, with a shift to light snow and rain expected tomorrow

  • Warm, Dry, but on the cloudy side today as a warm front continues to push Northeast through our area.
  • 50s are very likely along the eastern foothills, with widespread 40s across the area.

  • For perception, this is how much warmer it is across the region than 24 hours ago.
  • Philip is really feeling the heat this morning (relatively) with temperatures almost 40° warmer than this time yesterday.

  • Even areas North and East of the Black hills could see 40s out there.
  • Computer models are being conservative with temperatures along the I-90 corridor through the Black Hills, I think we could easily see low 50s from Rapid City to Spearfish.

  • Pushing forward into Wednesday, we have a fast moving system with very little moisture that’ll cross the region.
  • Perhaps a Northwesterly breeze and some light snow through Northeast Wyoming and the high elevations of the Black Hills.
  • SD plains and Rapid City will see mostly rain, but could see a few transitions to sleet and snow going into Wednesday afternoon and evening.

  • Snow maps have been trending in the downward direction but i’m still holding on to the possibility of some light accumulations across the region.
  • Northern Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains could grab an inch or two, but there just isn’t enough gusto to bring the larger accumulations.

  • Thursday is expected to be our coldest day of the week, which is saying something.
  • Temperatures will climb into 50s by this weekend with dry conditions expected.

  • Possibility of a system by Monday, but long range leaves much to be desired on that note.
  • We really need the jet stream to dip just a little farther South, and for arctic air to plunge southward in order to activate the convener belt.
  • So far, most of these systems are forced right over the Rockies, sapping them of moisture.


It’s ironic that Spearfish is celebrating Chinook winds, as those have been quite active over the last couple of days. 50° temperatures at 4 AM in January in the Northern Plains isn’t just something everyone stumbles over every day… that’s a fairly unique feature to this region and a fascinating look at thermodynamics (study of heat transfer).

We’ll watch next week, if more arctic air can fill the trough in later model runs i’ll be more convinced of a little something next week. Until then, warm and dry weather looks likely almost all the way through January into February… be safe out there! – Brant

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