Northwest Flow, Snow-lovers woe: Big systems stay in Texas, Oklahoma

Several small system will cross our area this week from the Northwest, bringing light snow and breezy conditions at time but otherwise mild

  • Quick moving system will pass through today, bringing light snow across the Black Hills and areas of Northeastern Wyoming.
  • Breezy conditions are expected from the Northwest, with temperatures hovering around the 20s and 30s.

Here’s a quick look at road conditions across the area this morning

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Hot Springs - Maverick Junction North

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South Dakota Road Conditions

National Road Conditions

  • The snow showers will be sporadic and quick, dotting the area like polka-dots rather than an organized line.
  • Patchy blowing and drifting snow could pose and issue for areas that received fresh snow cover over the weekend – especially as you head out towards the Great plains North of the Black Hills and towards Northeastern Wyoming.

  • Most winds will be from the Northwest, some of the higher gusts will be towards Harding, Butte and Meade County around the 30-35 MPH range as the winds whip around the Black Hills.

  • Snow showers will continue to dot the region into the afternoon hours.
  • Notice that areas South and East of the Black Hills don’t receive the same coverage of “polka-dot” snow showers – drier air at the surface may prevent most snow from reaching the surface.

  • Things will start winding down towards the evening, but be cautious of roads re-freezing and patchy blowing and drifting snow.
  • An overall drier trend will continue going into Tuesday morning.

  • Temperatures Tuesday morning will range from the single digits in Northeastern Wyoming to the teens and possibly low 20s on the South Dakota side of things.
  • Wind Chills will approach zero and possible the negatives – make sure you bundle up!

  • The good news in Tuesday will be warmer and sunny, with temperatures reaching the 30s and possible 40s by the afternoon.
  • The Hills will struggle to get out of the 20s however, but sunshine could bump those numbers into the 30s.

  • Wednesday introduces our next clipper system, this one a *little* more vigorous than Monday’s system with more widespread light snow expected and gusty winds.
  • The coverage so far looks pretty good, but light impacts overall are expected.

  • Winds could gust around the 35 to 40 MPH range from the West, turning Northwesterly by the late morning.
  • This will be in combination with some light snow, so we could see a few impacts across the region.

  • Overall, light accumulations across the region look likely – with perhaps a little more towards the higher elevations of the Bighorns and Northern Black Hills.
  • We’ll see how this system evolves in the next model run, but I anticipate much of the same thing we’ve been dealing with over the last week – fast moving clippers.

  • Last week we were looking at the possibility of a good sized system for Wednesday, but that energy has shifted southward towards the Southern Plains and we’re left with moisture starved clippers as a consolation prize.
  • Could have a quick moving system or two towards the weekend, but not noteworthy enough to alter the forecast – overall dry and mild conditions look likely after Wednesday.


So last week’s discussion of a large-scale system crossing the Central Plains has shifted focus to the Southern Plains, so the jet stream is very much active… the placement just isn’t right for big systems to cross our region. West Texas and Oklahoma have been hammered by ice storms and heavy snowfall, while Mississippi, Alabama and the Southeast are dealing with tornadoes… and even several inches of snow in Atlanta!

It’s clear to see where all the energy is moving through at the moment – and as long as the energy stays towards the Southern Plains we will see the jet stream maintain a Northwesterly track through the Black Hills region. That means Clippers, moisture starved systems and possible a cold snap here and there. For those hoping for big snow.. you’ll have to head to the Northern Hills where upslope enhancement benefits from Northwesterly flow. We’ll keep track of long range patterns… but I will say this – Last year Mississippi and Alabama saw record setting rainfall and storms right before we saw our polar plunge and our very wet spring in 2019… recognizing patterns is a large part of forecasting and if this patterns says anything – our snowy season is still on deck.

We’ll keep an eye on it, be safe out there! -Brant

Current Conditions

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