Winter rudely interrupts fall schedule

We've talked a lot about winter outlooks, but maybe we're focusing on the wrong season.

RAPID CITY, S.D. – With as much as 6 inches of snow blanketing portions of the Black Hills a week into the fall season, questions begin to come up about what October could be looking like.

Susan Sanders, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Rapid City, weighed in on the September snow.

“September proves how variable temperatures and conditions can be,” Sanders stated. “Even though we have pretty much normal temperatures here at the office through the month of September, the actual temperatures ranged from 92 degrees to 36 degrees, which is very typical for the fall season.”

Long range models show cooler than normal temperatures for the Black Hills and more moisture than normal. Deciphering what “cooler than normal” means is important. Sanders once again sets the record straight.

“It’s not [showing] the magnitude of below normal or above normal temperatures, it’s [showing] the probability that the temperatures will be below normal.”

In short, if models show that there’s a 50 percent chance temperature will be below normal in 6-10 days, that could mean by one degree or by fifteen.

The seven-day forecast already shows three things next week. More moisture, cooler temperatures and a stout trough moving into our area. Meteorologists will be monitoring October carefully; it already looks like those long-range models could be onto something.

Categories: Local News