11:20 AM Update: Snow bands pushing into the region
Moderate to heavy accumulations are likely across the Central and Southern Hills, along with windy conditions tonight into Saturday
11:20 AM UPDATE:
- First bands of Rain/Snow are moving into the southern portion of our area, affecting areas of Fall River County and Oglala Lakota County
- Things could briefly start out as rain and eventually transition to snow over a short period of time.
- Large “pancake” snowflakes due to high moisture content and near 32° temperatures could lead to quickly changing road conditions as we approach the afternoon and evening.
- Snow totals remain on track from this mornings forecast discussion (posted below) …. save for a few areas that could see an inch or two more. Most forecasted snow totals are either holding steady or slowly inching upwards.
- Below are posted current road conditions and Interactive radar, so you can track the system as it continues to push into the region.
- Friday will start out dry, sunny and a little on the chilly side with temperatures in the 20s and 30s.
- Breezy conditions will start to pick up in the afternoon from the Southeast, ushering in snow from Nebraska and Wyoming.
- Winter Storm Warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service in Rapid City, most for the threat of likely high snow accumulations and gusty winds.
- The warning doesn’t begin until 6 PM this evening, but we could see impacts anytime after lunch today for areas of Fall River, Custer and Oglala Lakota County.
- Snow accumulation map is posted farther below, with expected totals for each area.
- Winter Weather Advisories have been posted for areas outside of the Black Hills in West River for several inches of snow and difficult travel.
- Although not expecting large accumulations, gusty winds could lead to blowing snow and reduced visibility.
- The day will start out dry, sunny conditions to the North with increasing clouds from the South as we go into the late morning.
- The first signs of trouble will appear right around noon, when the leading edge of our storm system crosses into Fall River and Oglala Lakota County
- Breezy Southeasterly winds will start to pick up as well, Gusts up to 30-40 MPH in some cases…
- This band will waste no time in ramping up, so once the snow starts it likely won’t let up.
- By 7 PM this evening, most of the Black Hills and the I-90 corridor will start seeing impacts, with areas North of I-90 remaining on the dry side for a little longer.
- Northeastern Wyoming won’t see many heavy bands of snow, but travel impacts are still likely by this point so stay alert.
- By the overnight hours, snow activity will be at its peak, with plenty of moderate to heavy snow bands crossing the region.
- There will be some signs of improvements by Saturday morning for Northeastern Wyoming, but moderate to heavy snow bands will still be criss-crossing West River and areas of the Black Hills.
- Easterly and Southeasterly winds will still be an issue going into Saturday afternoon and evening, so make sure to keep that in mind if you plan on traveling.
- Blowing and drifting snow will be possible, along with low visibility even if accumulating snow starts to slow down.
- By Saturday afternoon and evening, dry air will start intruding and breaking up most of the larger snow bands.
- I suspect we’ll have some leftover squalls along the Eastern Foothills going into Saturday evening, with everyone else getting quick snow showers overnight.
- Overall, most of the action is going to be concentrated along a zone stretching from about Sturgis all the way down to Angostura Reservoir.
- Areas like Rapid City could easily see 4″-7″ of snow, with some higher accumulations possible on the Western Side of town and Sheridan Lake Road and 44 towards Hisega.
- Northeastern Wyoming will see light accumulations overall, with most ares seeing around 1″-3″, but Newcastle and Weston County could see 2″-4″ or some locally higher spots.
- Areas North of the Black Hills will see lighter accumulations as well, hovering around the 1″-3″ with areas towards the Northeast getting perhaps 2″-4″ towards Ziebach County.
- Once you start talking about areas East of the Black Hills. you’ll start seeing varying amounts ranging from 2″-5″ to maybe even 3″-6″ towards the Badlands.
- Pine ridge, Jackson and Bennett counties will likely see 1″-3″ to maybe 2″-4″ of snow. The closer you are to the Nebraska border the more likely you are to see higher accumulations.
- The Black Hills will be tricky, we will see Easterly Winds driving upslope snow into areas of Hot Spring, Custer, Hill City, Keystone and Rockerville.
- These upslope bands could stretch into the Hermosa Foothills along SD-79… so Fairburn, Buffalo Gap, Hermosa and those areas could see some amounts pushing 6″ or more of snow in some cases.
- Custer itself and the higher elevations of Pennington, Custer and Fall River County could easily see more than 6″ of snow… I could even see some isolated spots up to 12″ towards Needles Highway and Custer State Park.
- A sharp cutoff will be likely along the Western side of the Black Hills – this will include Deerfield, Buckhorn, Cheyenne Crossing, Terry Peak and areas of Weston & Crook County in Wyoming. These areas could see anywhere from 1″-3″ along the Wyoming border to 3″-6″ of snow just a couple miles East of the border.
- Spearfish, Lead and Deadwood could see smaller amounts overall, so don’t be shocked if you get left out of the action.
- Fall River County, including Hot Springs, Oelrichs and Edgemont could see 3″-6″ of snow, with some isolated heavier pockets the higher in elevation you go.
- Once we get to Sunday, things will start winding down going into Monday. Southerly Winds will keep things on the mild side with overall cloudy conditions.
So we’ve been looking at two separate systems here in the long range forecast for some time. This first one has made itself obvious – Tonight into Saturday. The second one has been elusive, shifting position and timelines, creating an overall mess forecast wise after Saturday. Finally, I’m starting to be able to lock in on a time frame for our second system: Thursday of next week.
Details are shaky, timeline is a little off, snow amounts are a mystery, you guys know the deal with systems this far out. Let’s get past our current winter storm and we’ll start talking about the second one here soon. Make sure to send in your pictures and snow reports! You guys are already awesome about that but we’ll gladly take more of them with this storm as well. Stay safe out there! – Brant.