Severe weather expected to bring high winds to western South Dakota Saturday

The Storm Prediction Center has DOWNGRADED portions of the Black Hills Region to a slight (2/5) risk of severe weather from an enhanced (3/5) risk for Saturday afternoon and evening, with high winds expected to be the main threat.

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  • The Storm Prediction Center has downgraded the severe weather threat to Slight (2/5) for areas East of the Black Hills.
  • Despite the downgrade… we still have a organized risk for strong to severe weather.

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  •  If you have outdoor plans for Saturday afternoon and evening, make sure you have a place of shelter nearby that you can access in case of imminent severe weather.
  • The main threat with these thunderstorms will be high winds and large hail. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out, but is unlikely to be a major factor in our storm threat today.
  • Anything that is susceptible to high winds, such as high profile vehicles or loose should be accounted for.

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  • The one limiting factor this afternoon will be our surface moisture, which looks to be below the magic dew-point number of 60°
  • Dew points measure the actual quantity of moisture in the air, and is important in forecasting severe weather.
  • Notice that some areas do show 50°-55° dew points… which is flirting with decent moisture levels.
  • A slight change in forecast could give thunderstorms high moisture to draw from.. leading to stronger storms.
  • Thunderstorms can bring down high winds from aloft *without* the help of surface moisture… so we should be prepared for this scenario regardless.

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  • Storms expected to initiate right around 2-4 PM in Northeastern Wyoming along a bowed line.
  • Some isolated thunderstorms could form ahead of the line in Western South Dakota at this time. Be wary of these for large hail.

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  • By 4-7 PM, this very strong line of thunderstorms is expected to cross over the Black Hills and bring high winds to large sections of our area, particularly the areas just East of the Black Hills.
  • This would include areas such as Hermosa, Box Elder, Pine Ridge, Buffalo Gap, Wall, Martin, Kadoka, Philip, Faith, and other areas east of the Black Hills.
  • Winds could gust as high as 70 MPH, perhaps higher in some isolated spots.
  • Loose debris and pieces of buildings can become airborne, leading to a life-threatening situation if you are caught outdoors. Have a way to receive warnings.

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  • A few thunderstorms could hang on through Saturday evening, unlike Friday evening where we had one line of storms and was finished for the night.
  • Hail larger than quarter-sized will also be possible with these thunderstorms… although widespread hailstorms are not expected. Wind will be the main threat Saturday.

The key to today will be having a reliable way to receive warnings. The NC1 weather app is free, and is maintained by real, human meteorologists who understand the local area. I like to post my forecast discussions there (like this one) and post special weather reports for very specific regions during severe weather events. Stay safe… there’s no reason to be scared of thunderstorms as long as we are properly -prepared- for them. The link to download the app is posted below.

You can check the latest local radar and the latest warnings on the NC1 weather app
Categories: Local News, South Dakota News, Weather Daily