Cold Irony: Potential “Winter” storm for first day of Spring

Relatively dry and mild weather expected for the first part of the week, with an expected close call with a large storm system on Thursday

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  • Right off the bat, we could see a little freezing drizzle this morning here and there, with a stray afternoon snow shower in the Central and Southern Hills.
  • Watch for patchy slick spots, but overall a dry and cool day is expected for most with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 20s and 30s

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  • Recapping Friday and Saturday’s system, we saw some good numbers along the Hermosa Foot Hills and Custer State Park.
  • Hill City, famously avoiding most of the action this winter, finally got a decent amount. (you thought winter forgot about you?)

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  • Hot Springs also got some good amounts, particularly as you head North and West of town along the higher elevations.
  • Whitewood, SD along I-90 got good amounts ranging from 8″-10″, but areas of Western Lawrence County finally got a “break” with only 4″-7″ in most areas.

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  • Moving forward, St. Patrick’s Day (Tuesday) will feature and advancing warm front and some breezy conditions from the South and West.
  • Temperatures could top 50° in Rapid City, depending on the timing of the front – with higher elevations possibly seeing warmer temperatures to start out the morning.
  • Relatively dry conditions expected with cloudy skies to the South and clearer conditions towards Harding and Perkins County.

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  • Overall, not a bad start to the week, the first part of Wednesday will be dry – but with increasing clouds to the South as our next approaching system churns its way towards Western Nebraska.

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  • So far, long range has a decent grip on the timeline – but still a little wobbly on storm placement and temperatures (this will be important.)
  • A rain/snow mix is expected to start Wednesday evening for Nebraska and Southeastern Wyoming and make its way towards the Black Hills.

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  • Overnight into Thursday, Rain will eventually mix over to snow in the Black Hills region, mostly affecting areas closer to the Nebraska border……. for now.
  • Travel is expected to be difficult along I-25 and through the panhandle of Nebraska. Even a change of temperature by 1°-2° in this forecast will have drastic changes to impacts and snow totals.

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  • North to Northwest winds are expected to increase into Thursday evening, plummeting temperatures to the teens and in some cases single digits. Wind Chills could approach zero.
  • So far, you’ll notice Rapid City and the Black Hills are on the very edge of this system… should this storm track any farther North we can expect a much wider range of impacts. So far though, looks like most of the major impacts will move through the Nebraska panhandle and areas to our South – including the Southern Hills, Oglala Lakota County and Jackson/Bennett County

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  • By Friday morning, most areas should clear out with patchy blowing and drifting snow, and much cooler temperatures. Things looking dry for the weekend so far with rebounding temperatures by Saturday.

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We have a window of time that I’m focusing on specifically where the Black Hills could see most of its’ impacts – mainly focusing on Early Thursday morning. If Snow transitions just a *tad* bit earlier and this system tracks just a *tiny* bit North… now we’re talking a good stretch of time with Northeasterly to Easterly winds. this will lead to areas of upslope and some decent snow totals.

Even -with- the system tracking to our South, long range accumulation models are recognizing the potential for some upslope snow in the Eastern foothills. notice as you go North of I-90, impacts become less widespread… but colder temperatures and higher winds could be the trade-off.

If you’re in the Oelrichs, Pine Ridge, Martin, or Kadoka community – this is a system you should start watching today. You all have a better chance of seeing a good amount of impacts out of this system, and it’ll take much more than a slight budge for things to miss. Too early to talk about accumulations, but for reference Moderate to Heavy on this particular long range model usually indicates at least 6″ or more of snow … it’s done a pretty good job this winter of at least hitting it in the ballpark.

We have several days to talk about this system, so no need to grab the toilet paper just yet (ha) I’ll be spending most of my time tracking this system and providing you all with updates as they become available. It’s Spring time, this is very typical for this time of year, Climatologically this is very much a Spring welcome mat for our region – nothing we haven’t seen before. Having that said, these can pack a punch – so let’s keep an eye on it. Be safe out there folks, and wash your hands! -Brant

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Categories: Local News, Weather Daily