Winter Weather Advisory: Areas of heavy snow, high winds possible today
Moderate to heavy snow bands will cross the region today, with wind advisories posted for up to 55 MPH wind gusts - this could lead to areas of blowing snow
UPDATE (10:00 a.m.): Rapid City upgraded to High Wind Warning
- A Vigorous front will cross the region today from West to East, bringing a mixture of snow, rain, wind, and even areas of blowing snow.
- Thankfully temperatures wont be plummeting too far, generally in the high teens and 20s across the region by tonight but travel conditions could deteriorate in portions of our area.
Here’s a quick look at road conditions this morning
- Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for areas of the central and Northern Hills, including the Bear Lodge Mountains.
- With gusty winds expected to move through, areas of blowing snow are not out of the question. Use caution.
- A Wind Advisory is in effect until 8 PM tonight for gusts up to 55 MPH across NW South Dakota and the I-90 corridor from Wall to the Wyoming border.
- Even though we are looking at mostly rain towards the SD plains, transitions to snow will be possible and combined with these gusty winds we could see areas of low visibility and difficult driving conditions. Use caution.
- An air quality alert has been issued for the Powder River Basin from 11 AM to 5 PM today for blowing dust. Those sensitive to air quality should take note in this area.
- Things will get going early today, with the main line of snow and rain/snow moving through this morning into the lunch hour.
- Upslope enhancement could pick up this morning across the Northern Hills, bringing moderate to heavy snow bands during the lunch hour into the afternoon.
- By This afternoon, areas of the South Dakota Plains will start to see potential impacts, although most should see a cold rain.
- A difference of a few degrees could change this very quickly, so many transitions will be possible and driver should be alert across the entire region today.
- This includes Rapid City and the I-90 corridor.
- Stubborn snow bands could hang on even towards this evening in areas of the Black Hills, but most activity should be ending by late tonight.
- Windy conditions will continue overnight, so be cautious about travelling through areas of blowing snow – particularly out towards the Wyoming and SD plains.
- All in all, the numbers on paper don’t look all that impressive – but wind will always make things worse.
- The highest numbers are expected towards Cheyenne Crossing in the Northern Hills, where up to 6″ could accumulate.
- Northern Hills in general including the Bear Lodge Mountains could see 2″-5″ respectively, with Northeastern Wyoming generally seeing 1″-2″ and the South Dakota Plains struggling to get more than a trace in most cases.
- Don’t let the numbers fool you though, a quick burst of cold air could inflate these numbers in pockets across the South Dakota side of things – make sure you’re driving the conditions.
- After Thursday we start a decent warming trend going into Saturday with temperatures in the 50s by Friday and mid 60s by Saturday
- At this point we could even see a rare 70° in the downslope areas of the Eastern foothills on Saturday – this would tie or even break records.
- Our next system approaches Sunday evening into Monday – with snow, wind, a decent drop in temperatures looking likely. We’ll keep an eye on it.
Today’s forecast has been on the upswing – that is to say winds are looking a little higher, snow accumulations look a little more deep and road conditions could be a little more of a problem than even yesterday’s forecast would have suggested. Having that said, still not looking at a major impacts – common sense driving and abundant caution should be sufficient to get you around. The exception will be the Norther Hills – where moderate to heavy snow bands could quickly make an ok drive a little more hectic. Stay alert to those rapidly changing conditions.
Regarding this weekend, something we will need to watch. Temperatures could reach 70° by Saturday, and plummet to the 20s for highs by Monday. Going to be hard to argue gusty winds and snow won’t be a part of that forecast. so far, light to moderate accumulations look likely – but this will be a Northwesterly based system…. which means heavy snow doesn’t seem likely. We’re talking more a wind and cold event – with a powdery snow blowing around like sand in a desert.
Good news is we look to recover nicely Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll keep you updated as that forecast develops as we know the Black Hills Stock Show is coming up! So far, looks like you’ll need to hold on to the steering wheel this weekend… be safe out there! – Brant