Clipped by a Clipper: Light accumulations, freezing fog Friday and Saturday

Light snow will start in northeastern Wyoming this morning and afternoon, eventually bringing light impacts to the Black Hills region through Saturday night

  • Temperatures will start out in the 20s and 30s across the region, and wont get much better as we progress through the day.
  • Clouds will be on the increase as light snow moves into Northeastern Wyoming, eventually pushing into the Black Hills by this afternoon.
  • Some brief gusty winds could be possible as the cold front pushes through the region.

  • Snow activity will be scattered and variable, with some areas receiving a few on and off snow bands and other areas receiving almost nothing at all.
  • By About 10 AM, areas of the Northern Hills and Western South Dakota could start to see increased activity, which could include freezing drizzle and sleet.

  • Activity winds down this evening precipitation wise, but freezing fog could develop, particularly in the Northern and Eastern foothills.
  • A few areas of flurries or light snow could stick around overnight, but keep an eye on the roads – not the sky. Freezing fog can sneak up on you with slick road conditions.

  • The show resumes Saturday morning as freezing fog is eventually replaced by more light snow.
  • Northeastern Wyoming and Southwest South Dakota look to receive more persistent snow shower activity throughout the day, but these will be on and off.

  • Temperatures Saturday morning will be in the single digits and teens for most of the region, with wind chills pushing sub-zero and single digits for most.
  • As Easterly winds persist, wind chill will continue to feel quite bitter – particularly in the Eastern foothills and Rapid City.

  • Saturday evening continue to show stubborn snow showers, which could lead to an inch or so of snow for Rapid City and the South Dakota Plains.
  • The Northern Hills could see a little bit more accumulation as upslope enhancement continue to persist with Northwester flow aloft.

  • By Sunday conditions are improving, with overall dry and warmer weather expected by midweek.
  • Late next week could feature another quick moving clipper system, but as long as Northwesterly flow persists in our region it’s going to be tough to see any large-impact systems.


The National Weather Service has rolled out a new type of official Alert: Snow Squall Warning. This is the answer to those isolated pockets of blizzard-like conditions that seem to pop up in an otherwise uneventful snow shower. Clipper are notorious for these, especially in the Northern Hills and the I-90 corridor as Northwesterly winds ride up the Black Hills and use the upslope enhancement to gather energy. This weekend is a PERFECT example of an otherwise tame forecast for light snow that can quickly turn inconvenient. Never trust a clipper – make sure you have a winter kit if you’re travelling tonight through Saturday. Most of us will see little impacts, but it never hurts to be prepared 🙂 be safe out there! -Brant

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