Heavy snow and high winds to create significant impacts
An intense winter storm is still set to take aim at western South Dakota, northeast Wyoming and many other surrounding locations. Low clouds and a light freezing mist/drizzle looks to continue off and on through midday Friday. If you have any plans to be out and about Black Friday shopping or doing anything else, proceed with caution as roads and other surfaces may be slippery.
As of 5 p.m. Thursday, A Blizzard Warning is in place for the Wyoming and South Dakota plains along and north of I-90. A Winter Storm Warning is in place for the Black Hills, Sheridan and Carter counties. A Winter Storm Watch continues for the southern plains as uncertainty still exists. The warning for Sheridan County is from 6 a.m. Friday through 6 p.m. Saturday, the warning for Carter County in Montana is from 12 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Sunday, and for everyone else, the warnings are from 6 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Sunday.
A wintry mix will develop Friday afternoon with freezing drizzle, sleet and some light snow. This will create a glaze of ice on surfaces before snow begins to fall The heavy snow will take over for much of the area after 6 p.m. Friday and continue through much of Saturday. Winds will be increasing Friday night as well. By dinner time Friday, gusts will be around 30 mph, but by Saturday morning, gusts could be reaching 50-60 mph on the plains.
Travel will be impossible Friday night through Saturday. Wind speeds Saturday will gust up to 65 mph or possibly higher. Snowfall totals by Saturday night/Sunday morning will likely be 6"+ for much of the area. In Rapid City, 8"-12" will be likely with higher amounts possible. The highest snow totals will be found in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming, where 1'-2' of snow is looking likely with higher amounts possible as well, mostly toward the Lead/Deadwood area. A snowfall map is posted below for a more detailed forecast if you live outside of those areas.
As mentioned before, travel Friday night and Saturday will be impossible. IF you NEED to be out on the roads, you will want to pack an emergency kit with extra water, food, warm clothing, a phone charger and any other necessary items in case you get stuck and help cannot reach you right away. Expect road conditions on Sunday to be very difficult, as many roads will likely remain icy and snow packed.
The strong winds could possible bring down tree branches and potentially knock out power. Stay warm and safe this weekend.