Winter Storm Watch Issued for Rapid City: Heavy Snow, Freezing Rain & 50 mph winds all possible

As this system tapers off into the morning hours, another system is already brewing for Friday evening into Saturday, and impacts are expected




  • Freezing rain, heavy snow accumulations, 50 mph winds and blowing snow are all concerns regarding Saturday’s winter storm
  • Although 4-10″ has been designated for Rapid City, this number should become more clear as the forecast develops.
  • Be sure to stick with Newscenter1 for the latest as this is a developing forecast!

DISCUSSION: Current forecast guidance shows the system spinning right through the Black Hills region Friday night through Saturday. As moisture wraps around the back side of the low, snow will form in heavy, distinct bands. For areas close to Rapid City and along SD 79, freezing rain could premise the arrival of snow, complicating road situations further.

The initial heavy snow wont bring gusty winds, but visibility could be low with heavy snow rates. Once West river is on the back side of the Low on Saturday however, winds will pick up significantly. long, sustained periods of 30 mph winds and blowing snow could make for difficult, if not treacherous driving conditions at times along and North I-90. Areas south of I-90 including Hot Springs, Edgemont and Custer look to receive less impacts, but that could still change in the next 36 hours if the system shifts one way or another, so keep on your toes.

The one positive is temperatures look to remain… at the very least… above zero at this time. As far as the 4-10″  for Rapid City is concerned, i’m willing to hedge those numbers closer to 3-7″ inches of snow at this time. There will be a very, very fine line to who sees more snow and who sees less. It may even be possible for Box Elder to receive a whole 3-4″ more snow than Rapid City, that’s how close we’re talking.

I’ll keep this page updated, and any important updates will be followed through on both social media and through the website! Be safe out there folks.


Here’s a look at road conditions this morning as you walk out the door.


Rapid City, I-90


Wall, I-90


Fairburn, SD-79


Oglala, US-18


Sturgis, I-90

Road conditions are generally poor once you reach Rapid City and go South or East, Road conditions are better as you head North of Rapid City

  • Snow is already moving out of the area this morning, leaving us with cloudy skies and temperatures that will reach the low 20’s
  • Much of the area received the lower end of snow accumulations, but snow covered roads are still an issue once you get South & East of Rapid City
  • Thursday and Friday will generally be uneventful, save for a few flurries here and there, once we get to Friday afternoon and evening however, things pick up
  • Freezing rain is a distinct possibility late Friday afternoon into Friday evening, so regardless of our eventual snow accumulations on Saturday, travel conditions could be difficult
  • Temperatures will hold in the upper teens, but heavy snowfall is expected for our region Friday night into Saturday, covering roads with snow once again, particularly as you travel North and East of the Black Hills
  • Estimating accumulations in the Black Hills and Rapid City, as you’ll see on the map below. There will be a very, very fine line between large amounts of snow and very light accumulations. Rapid City is right on that line
  • I will hold off on specific amounts for our area for now, but ballpark estimates could range from 3-7″ in Rapid City, with great variability in this amount over the next 24 hours, so be sure to check the forecast frequently over that time period.
  • REGARDLESS – Travel is expected to be very difficult as you head East of Rapid City on I-90, particularly towards the central, Northwestern and Eastern portion of the state. 30+ mph winds and blowing snow with accumulations over 12″ not out of the question in some areas.
  • Snow for the most part ends Saturday evening into Sunday, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the lower 30’s by Sunday afternoon
  • Our next likely system moves towards our area Tuesday and Wednesday, with temperatures holding in the low to mid 30’s next week

Expected Radar Coverage over the next 48 hours. Look how the system wraps around the hills, forming a pocket of dry air in the middle. Should the system shift even 25 to 50 miles one way or another, we could be looking at vastly different accumulations for our area. Very important to check with this forecast over the next 24 hours

Here are expected accumulations through Saturday evening. South Dakota will not be a travel-friendly place Friday night into Saturday, so make plans accordingly!

Categories: Local News, Weather Daily