SUNDAY UPDATE: Winter Storm Watch posted for next weeks storm

Sunday: Bulletins for heavy snow, high winds and difficult travel have been posted by the National Weather Service for next week's anticipated system


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  • The National Weather Service in Rapid City has issued a Winter Storm Watch that includes the Northern Black Hills, Northeast Wyoming and Northwest South Dakota.
  • The specific impacts for each area vary from location to location, but overall conditions are expected to impact travel and agriculture in the areas highlighted.
  • 6″ or more of snow will be possible, with some areas possibly receiving a foot or more of snow.
  • Winds gusting from 35-50 MPH will be possible, with winds starting east/northeast for late Monday/early Tuesday and then switching north/northwest by Tuesday evening.
  • Blowing snow and dropping temperatures will become a bigger concern as we approach late Tuesday/Wednesday morning, with teens and 20s in the forecast.

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  • So far, major impacts are expected to miss areas along and south of I-90, including Rapid City – However, until this storm system comes onshore sometime Monday, there can be major shifts to this track and should be consulted regularly to stay up to date.

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  • Those who live in the expected areas of high impact should start making preparations for a snowstorm and possible blizzard conditions.
  • Rain mixing with snow could greatly reduce overall snow totals in areas east of the Black Hills.

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  • There is still room for significant shifts to the location of these impacts, but those living north of the Black Hills have the highest probability of seeing these impacts verify.
  • There will be more updates as soon as relevant information becomes available.




Saturday Update: A loose consensus between models is starting to come together that a strong storm is expected to pass just north of the Black Hills, with room for change over the next several days.

It’s becoming clear that a large storm will impact the Northern Plains Monday night through Thursday of next week. This will include heavy snowfall, high winds, and temperatures that will reach the teens and 20s in some cases.

The location of highest impacts has shifted North, with portions of NW South Dakota, NE Wyoming, SE Montana and Western North Dakota expected to receive the brunt of impacts at this point.

To be clear, not only is there still time for the location of this storm to shift back south, but even if this storm does go through North Dakota the Black Hills could still see significant impacts to agriculture and travel across the area.

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Let’s start with tonight through Sunday, where a small but potent area of low pressure is expected to cross right over the Black Hills. Several inches of snow (with highest totals around 3”-6”) in the higher elevations of the Black Hills, along with rumbles of thunder can be expected through the day Sunday as this small but breezy system moves through. Mostly rain is expected for the plains, but don’t be surprised to see transitions to snow on occasion, with slushy accumulations in spots. 30s and 40s generally expected

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We get a break Sunday night through Monday, with perhaps a few passing isolated rain/snow showers and some breezy southerly winds. Temperatures hitting the 40s and 50s with partly cloudy conditions.

Monday night we expect rain, snow and winds to pick up around the Black Hills region as our low pressure system descends off the Rockies and begins to deepen. The rain and snow could be heavy at times, with thundersnow not out of the question particularly North of the Black Hills.

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The track of this Low pressure system is absolutely crucial to understanding what impacts we could see in the Black Hills Tuesday and Wednesday. On the current course, the low pressure system is expected to wrap moisture counterclockwise through North Dakota, and then eventually through the Black Hills Region. This is why areas North of the Black Hills are expected to receive the highest impacts, with over 6”+ of snow being very reasonable along with increasing winds and temperatures plunging into the teens and 20s by Wednesday. Wind chill factors could hit the single digits.

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This is expected to be a very large storm. Wednesday and Thursday could see vast areas of blowing snow across large tracts of land stretching from Sheridan, WY to Sioux Falls, SD… with greatest impacts along and North of I-90… particularly the state of North Dakota.

Should the area of low pressure shift farther south and move at a slower pace, this quickly puts the entire Black Hills region in the range of highest impacts for Tuesday and Wednesday. The margin for error is very small, and a small shift could vastly shift impacts for large sections of our area. It is crucial that the forecast is monitored over the next 48-72 hours.

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Tracking snow totals over the last several days has been like trying to herd cats – nothing has stayed consistent and any snow maps that have been posted are already far outdated and obsolete. However, those living North of the Black Hills could start looking to make preparations for high snow totals (over 6”) and persistent winds. Even if this storm shifts south, that would still leave NW South Dakota in an area of high impacts.

Impacts are expected to shift east by late Thursday and Friday, although this timeline could shift. It is important that we don’t fixate on snow totals, but rather focus on the combination of rain, wind, snow and dropping temperatures. Even 1”-3” of snow with high winds can cause big problems.

There will likely be Many updates over the next several days, but hopefully this gives a lead time for some to start making light preparations for next week. We appreciate you trusting us with your forecast, we understand that many have to spend time and resources based on these forecasts, and are concerned for friends and family that may be travelling for the Easter Holiday. As soon as there are relevant updates, we will be sure to let you know.

Be smart with what you read! Especially snow maps! Have a wonderful weekend.

Categories: Local News, Weather Daily