Significant snow is expected to impact the area Sunday and into Monday
In typical South Dakota fashion, the weather is expected to flip at the snap of a finger this weekend. We will go from mostly sunny skies and highs in the 60s on Saturday to a snowstorm by Sunday afternoon and evening.
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for northeast Wyoming and the higher elevations of the Black Hills from Sunday afternoon through Monday. The highest snow totals are expected in this area with many locations seeing 6” of snow or more. This will cause significant impacts to travel Sunday afternoon through Monday.
The snow is expected to start falling in northeast Wyoming and potentially the northern hills during the morning hours, but will really start to pick up during the afternoon and evening. Snow will start falling in western South Dakota by time we get to Sunday afternoon and evening. It will really pick up Sunday night and into the morning hours of Monday. Snow will taper off in Wyoming Monday morning, but not until the afternoon and evening hours for South Dakota.
In Rapid City, a few inches of snow are looking very possible. Highest totals will be in the northern hills and in northeast Wyoming, where 6”-12” are possible, with higher amounts possible in the Sheridan area. There will be a sharp cut-off between high and low snow totals. Southeast Montana and the South Dakota plains are expected to miss out on much of the snow, with less than an inch for many. These snow totals are likely to change between now and Sunday afternoon, but this is to give you an idea of what to expect ahead of time.
Travel will be significantly impacted from this storm Saturday afternoon, especially for Wyoming and the northern Hills, through Monday evening. If you are traveling for the big game on Sunday, keep a very close eye on the weather and road conditions, as they could drastically change from the beginning of the game to the end. Your Monday morning and afternoon commute will likely feature slippery roads, so plan accordingly for that as well.
This storm will be the beginning of a wintry pattern that is expected to set up across the area for the first half of February, at least. For the most part, temperatures will be near or below normal and precipitation is expected to be above normal, which means we are expecting multiple small snow events to pass through the area over the next few weeks. Mother Nature will remind us that it is still winter. As for now, enjoy the wonderful weather Saturday and prepare for some snow late Sunday. More updates to come tomorrow as new data is gathered and dissected to bring you the most accurate forecast possible.