Rolling Thunder: Rally week could start stormy
Storm activity looks likely across our region, particularly into Thursday and Friday
- Before we dive into the long range, lets map out the next 24 hours
- Summer like day today, with temperatures in the mid 80s and humidity values a little above normal… you’ll feel it a bit
- A few stray thunderstorms will be possible in the higher elevations of the Black Hills and Wyoming
- A line of thunderstorms look likely to form late this afternoon and evening in Southeast Montana/Northeast Wyoming
- This cluster of storms looks to move Southeast through the I-90 corridor, the Northern and Central Hills and through the Eastern Foothills to Rapid City. Even with those specifics, most of the Black Hills region should be on guard for thunderstorm activity this evening.
- Some of these storms could have strong spots with gusty winds and isolated hail.
- This is the highlighted area of interest regarding storm activity late this afternoon going into the evening hours
- The Storm prediction center has a Marginal (1/5) risk for strong storms, which means and strong or severe activity should be isolated and quickly pass
- The time frame looks to be from about 6 PM to Midnight before all is said and done
- Notice the “Bow” like structure of the forecasted radar image going through Rapid City and even portions of the Southern Hills. This could be an indication of possible gusty winds
- By Wednesday morning things calm down a bit, with generally sunny conditions and temperatures staying warm
- A slight chance of thunderstorm activity during the afternoon and evening hours will be possible, though any strong activity thus far looks to stay towards the border with North Dakota
- Thursday takes a distinct turn, as temperatures struggle to even reach 80 degrees with partly cloudy skies.
- The big deal here is the dew point, which could reach the 70s in places like Rapid City
- Remember, 60° dew points are more than enough for decent storm activity, 70° dew points means we’re pushing some pretty high moisture values for the Black hills. I’m watching Thursday with interest
- Storm activity, thus far, looks to continue into this weekend, just in time for the start of Rally Week
- The good news is temperatures are expected to stay slightly below normal, leading to cooler afternoons and nice conditions to be outside (while avoiding storms)
- Our conditions are thanks in large part to the jet stream, which is twisting and turning its way across the continental United States
- The upper levels dynamics help thunderstorm development, and bring in storm systems through our neighborhood
- Not only is the jet stream expected to be around our neck of the woods going into next week, it’ll be bringing in moisture from deep in the Central Pacific
- Next week is looking to be below normal temperature wise, and we’re not alone
- Rather than having highs in the 80s and mid to upper 90s like we usually do this time of year, we could be talking temperatures that hover in the mid 70s
- With those cooler temperatures will come the likelihood of above normal moisture for the region
- showers and thunderstorms, unfortunately, look to stay with us going into the middle to later portion of next week thus far
The long range forecast is not set in stone yet, and there is still wiggle room to have nice, sunny days in the midst of our active pattern. Nobody should be cancelling plans for next week, only making sure they have a contingency plan in case any particular event or travel plans do in fact get stormed out. For those wondering if this is unusual for the region? Yes. it is. We only need a little more than 2″ of rain in Rapid City between now and Christmas to break an all time record for 2 year rain collection. (I think we reach that mark easily). The important thing is to make sure you have a way top receive warnings wherever you may be, and radar on the go if you plan on travelling. I will be publishing forecast discussions specific to the Black Hills and those hoping to explore them over the next couple weeks. You can sign up for these localized forecast using ALERT ME. It will automatically send you my updated weather blogs and forecast discussions for the Black Hills and surrounding area.
As we prep for Rally Week, lets remember to be aware of other drivers out there and to give yourself extra time to reach you destination, and ALWAYS keep an eye to the sky, especially in the Black Hills! Be safe out there! -Brant