Winter Storm Warnings posted for the Black Hills Region

Bulletins for blowing snow, dropping temperatures and locally heavy accumulations have been issued for areas of the Black Hills this Saturday and Sunday

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  • The National Weather Service in Rapid city has issued Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings for the Black Hills Region.
  • Below is the breakdown of our expected timeline and impacts for each area.

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  • We’ll start with conditions tonight, which are expected to remain calm, but chilly.
  • A few passing snow showers could be in the forecast, but these are not part of the larger system.

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  • By early Saturday morning, winds will begin picking up from the southeast, with gusts up to 30 MPH

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  • Temperatures early Saturday morning will stay in the teens and 20s for the most part.

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  • By 11 AM Saturday, Snow showers will start to become more numerous along the ND/SD border, but still just outside the range of the Black Hills themselves and the I-90 corridor.

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  • Winds will begin to shift easterly by noon in Western South Dakota, with variable winds gusting in Northeastern Wyoming up to 30 MPH.

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  • Activity begins picking up by the afternoon, as Northeastern Wyoming and the I-90 corridor begin seeing impacts in the form of advancing snow bands.

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  • Temperatures will be warming to the 30s, in some cases above freezing towards the Nebraska border.
  • This could lead to a mix between sleet, snow, rain and freezing rain to start things off.
  • Everyone else should see mostly see snow along and North of I-90.

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  • Winds begin clocking Northeast by sundown, with sustained winds of 10-20 MPH, gusts up to 30 MPH.
  • This will lead to blowing and drifting snow, making travel difficult.

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  • As temperatures drop and day becomes night, roads will become hazardous and conditions will deteriorate further.
  • Wind Chill factors could approach zero, or below zero in Northeastern Wyoming.

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  • Saturday night will be the zenith of our system, with plenty of widespread coverage of snow bands moving through the area, moderate to heavy at times.

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  • By early Sunday morning, winds will shift almost due North at the same rate of 15-25 MPH, with gusts up to 30 MPH.

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  • Dry air will begin cleaning up areas North and West of the Black Hills by Sunday morning.
  • Stubborn pockets of upslope snow will continue for the I-90 corridor, the northern Black Hills and areas of Central South Daktoa.

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  • Accumulations in Northeastern Wyoming will focus along the Bighorn Mountains and the Bear Lodge Mountains.
  • Even with seemingly timid accumulations of 2″-4″ in Gillette and 2″-5″ in Newcastle, blowing snow is going to cause travel issues regardless. Use caution.

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  • Things get a little more prominent as we head towards the South Dakota side of things, with accumulations varying greatly towards the Great Plains.
  • The farther Northeast and East you travel from the Black Hills, the higher accumulations you’ll run into, give the axis of energy that is expected to swing East of the Black Hills.

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  • Areas South and West of the area of upslope enhancement will more than likely develop a “dry pocket”.
  • Moisture is wrung out over the Northern and Eastern foothills as it travels Southeast, so areas of Rochford, Newcastle, Deerfield and Jewel Cave National Monument may find themselves with just a few inches of snow before all is said and done.
  • Oglala Lakota, Jackson and Bennett Counties could find themselves in a large band of energy Sunday afternoon which could push totals higher than forecast.

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  • Once again the Northern and Eastern foothills will be part of an area of upslope enhancement.
  • There will be a sharp cutoff of accumulations along the I-90 corridor from Rapid City towards Sundance.
  • Western Rapid City, Black Hawk and Summerset may see 3″-4″ of higher snow accumulations than Rapid City Regional Airport, Box Elder and Rapid Valley – the hogbacks will play a big role in these numbers.
  • Local areas towards Lead, Terry Peak and Cheyenne Crossing could see a foot or more of snow, with the foothills seeing closer to 6″-9″, while areas just outside the foothills could see a sharp drop-off, such as 3″-6″ in Belle Fourche.

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  • A bitterly cold night (for October) is expected Sunday night into Monday which is expected to easily break low records.
  • A slow and gradual warm up is expected next week with drying conditions, with temperatures coming back into the 50s and possibly even 60s.

FORECAST DISCUSSION

We’ve definitely seen winter storms worse than this, … far worse. However, don’t expect to have an easy time getting around this weekend. Roads will become very slick, visibility will drop, heavy snow bands will quickly cover up roadways and street signs as darkness approaches Saturday night. Don’t be caught on exposed roadways during the zenith of this thing, particularly Saturday afternoon and evening.

There could be a false sense of security Saturday when things start out slow weather wise… don’t let it fool you. We’re going to keep you guys updated into tomorrow as well with road conditions and updated forecasts. Be safe out there!

 

 

 

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