Snow Likely Tonight through Friday: Much colder temperatures to follow next week

Several inches of snow will be possible across the Black Hills Region tonight through Friday, followed by a potent arctic system next week

  • A few snow showers this morning will give way to relatively mild conditions for the lunch hour, temperatures in the 20s and 30s and partly cloudy skies.
  • As we approach the afternoon however, a new low pressure system will be churning right in our own backyard – bringing chances for accumulating snow and cold temperatures.

  • A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Sheridan County Wyoming, stretching along I-25 through Billing Montana starting noon today.
  • Additional Winter Weather Advisories could be issued for the Black Hills and areas of South Dakota by this afternoon, but as of now have opted to hold off until more details become available.

  • Snow bands could form as early as 1-3 PM in the Northern and Eastern foothills, aided by an Easterly component to surface winds.
  • These snow bands will not be moving in from any direction, but rather will drop right on top of us as a low pressure system develops over the Black Hills.

  • By 7-10 PM things will start picking up, with light to moderate snow bands bringing light accumulations across most of the region.
  • Some areas could receive moderate accumulations, particularly areas of Northeast Wyoming and Black Hills proper.

  • These snow bands will continue overnight into Friday morning, where the morning commute could still see some moderate snow bands hanging around.
  • Snow will eventually end West to East by the afternoon – with 25-30 MPH winds out of the Northwest leading to the possibility of drifting snow.

  • Temperatures will be colder across much of the region by Friday morning, with single digits and teens for high temperatures.
  • Wind chills could dip into the negatives, so make sure you’re bundling up Friday morning as you walk out the door.

  • Friday evening will clearing skies and cold temperatures in the teens and single digits.
  • Fresh snow cover could bring some of the overnight temperatures close to zero.

  • Overall, not looking at big accumulations across most of the area, but enough to cover roads and create slick conditions.
  • I’ll leave 1″-3″ for Rapid City, with the possibility of higher amounts should Easterly winds and upslope enhancement play a role.
  • Forecast guidance models favor a heavier band across the Wyoming/Montana border stretching into Butte and Harding County.
  • This band has shifted several times in the forecast, and could meander its way north or South before the final forecast is posted.
  • The SD plains can generally expected 1″-2″ of snow, with perhaps lesser amounts as you head South of I-90.
  • Northern Hills could see a 2″-4″ mark with isolated pockets of 3″-6″ – once again will be dependent on upslope enhancement!
  • Central and Southern Hills I’m hovering around 1″-3″, with perhaps even less towards Fall River County where 0″-1″ looks more likely.
  • If the snow bands shift South, however, that could quickly put a spin on the forecast and increase amounts for those areas – should be a final update this afternoon on any potential shifts in the forecast.

  • Saturday sees a brief warm up with Southerly winds at the helm, bringing mid 30s to the Eastern foothills and 20s everywhere else for the most part.
  • Overnight Saturday into Sunday could see a few snow showers, but not enough to change my original forecast. We’ll leave it as mostly cloudy.
  • Monday-Wednesday next week will see a tumble into some pretty cold temperatures – with highs only in the single digits and negatives in the overnight hours.
  • Snow will also be a part of that forecast next week, something we’ll be monitoring in the next couple days.

FORECAST DISCUSSION

We’ve been pretty mild this winter so far, save for a pretty good cold snap in October and our Thanksgiving blizzard. Even the Post-Christmas Storm mostly affected areas East of the Black Hills. I’m watching something… interesting next week on the long range jet stream forecast. A surge of Arctic air looks likely to bowl its way down the West coast and into the Northwestern portions of the Continental United States.

If you think of this ball of arctic air as a weight on a pendulum, the Northern plains would be on the receiving end as this system eventually swings down, and ejects towards the Northeast. Depending on how far South this air mass plunges, it could swing our pattern to a North-South jet Stream by the time we reach next week and mid-January. Something I’ll be keeping tabs on going into next week.

As for the next 48 hours, not looking at a big system here, just some light snow with a few slick roads. Common sense driving and a few precautionary measures should be plenty sufficient to get you around tomorrow morning. Bundle up folks! Next week might be the coldest air we’ve seen since Halloween! Be safe out there! – Brant

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