The Cold, Snowy Plunge: Big weather shift expected Saturday through next week

A cold front will move through the region Saturday afternoon, and it'll bring well below normal temperatures going into next week

  • Friday is looking quite sharp, with temperatures reaching the 50s and 60s and plenty of sunshine across the region.
  • 30s and 40s can be expected this evening with dry conditions, prefect night for any planned activities

  • Saturday morning will start out cool, with temperatures in the 20s and 30s and increasingly cloudy skies
  • A Cold front will drop from the Northwest, and bring quick, sweeping changes to the region starting with Northeastern Wyoming
  • Winds will pick up, as temperatures plummet across the region. Northeast Wyoming can expect these change as early as 7-9 am, The Black Hills from 9-11 am and Rapid City sometime between 11 and 2 pm.
  • The change will be swift, more than likely in the form of a snow squall that quickly drops temperatures, visibility and road conditions. Winds could gust up to 45 mph from the North, even 50 in some cases through Saturday morning and afternoon.

  • Most forecast guidance seems to steer most snow bands away from the Eastern portions of our area, and focuses mainly on Northeast Wyoming, the Black Hills and areas to our South.
  • By Saturday evening, blowing snow could become an issue as temperatures will quickly plummet to the 20s and in some cases the teens in the higher elevations.
  • This will give snow the light, powdery substance that is easily carried by the wind, this could cause visibility issues.

  • Overnight into Sunday, snow will continue to push South – areas of blowing snow will travel to areas that might not have received heavy accumulations and cause problems.
  • Areas of Custer, Fall River, Oglala Lakota, Jackson and Bennett Counties could very will be in snow bands well into Sunday morning
  • This means higher accumulations could be possible in these regions, make sure to follow the forecast as accumulation numbers are trending upwards for areas south of Interstate 90.

  • We can deal with snow, the wind chill and temperatures on Sunday morning however could be a shock to the system at first.
  • Wind chill numbers in the single digits are likely, with continued northerly winds going into Sunday morning.
  • Temperatures will hover in the teens in the higher elevations and Northeastern Wyoming, make sure you are prepared for the conditions.

  • Don’t take these numbers as gospel, but it does highlight some of the hotspots we’re looking at accumulation wise
  • Forecast guidance is really, really hesitant to form snow bands Northeast of the Black Hills, so it’s likely the I-90 corridor will see some blustery conditions, while areas North and East of I-90 will struggle to see major impacts.
  • I may even be a little high on accumulations in the Northern Hills, I think most of the heavier bands shift South, Fall river and Custer County are of interest to me as this forecast moves forward.
  • 3″-6″ seems appropriate for the Black Hills, 1″-3″ for Rapid City and the I-90 corridor through Wyoming (with higher accumulations between Spearfish and Sundance.
  • I think Pine Ridge Surprises us with 2-5″, perhaps more. Bands seem to want to converge on this reason on latest guidance.
  • Areas West of the Black Hills could see 1″-3″ or 2″-4″, I don’t see major accumulations taking place out on the Wyoming plains, but blowing snow will make travel difficult regardlesss – don’t take it lightly.

  • By Sunday afternoon conditions will lighten up, but the cold isn’t going anywhere.
  • Heavy coats will be needed through at least Wednesday, the good news is by Halloween on Thursday slightly warmer and drier conditions look likely!

DISCUSSION

I’ll be honest, this is a tough forecast. Northwesterly based systems always are a headache because forecast models tend to overdo accumulation amounts and under-do cold and wind. What we can take away from this, is that windy and cold conditions are likely Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning. regardless of whether you see only 1 inch of snow or 4, its going to be blowing all around. this cold front will hit hard and fast, so be aware of rapidly changing conditions particularly Saturday morning and afternoon. Honestly, I don’t see any reason to cancel plans as long as we’re driving the conditions and monitoring the forecast. DON’T walk out the front door and assume everything is fine just because your driveway is clear, you all know how things change on a house by house basis in the Black Hills! If you’re going to Deadweird, perhaps choosing a costume that will keep you warm may be prudent! Enjoy our beautiful Friday and just make sure you’re monitoring the forecast going into Saturday morning. Thank you for trusting us with your forecast – be safe out there! -Brant

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