RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A strong low pressure system is in Canada and will move to the east through the next few days. A cold front is extending southwest from that low pressure and will move through northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota overnight and through day Wednesday. This will usher in cold air along with widespread cloud cover.
Temperatures will be warmest overnight or into the morning hours Wednesday before drastically cooling down into the 30s for many before the snow arrives.
A second low pressure will move through the area and this storm system will be responsible for the snow. Sheridan County will see snow by Wednesday morning with much of northeast Wyoming, southeast Montana, northwest South Dakota and the northern hills seeing snow by Wednesday afternoon.
Snow will really begin to intensify for those in western South Dakota by Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. This is likely when the heaviest snow will fall. Snow will continue for much of Thursday as the system starts to move out of the area by Thursday night. The highest snow totals will likely be in the northern Black hills, where more than a foot can be expected for some. Numerous locations across northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota will likely see accumulations near 6" or even higher.
Winds will be strong from Wednesday through Thursday night, with gusts anywhere from 40 to 50 mph. The strong winds will create treacherous driving conditions with slippery, potentially impassable roads and very low visibility. With the air temperature falling into the 20s for many, the strong winds will make temperatures actually feel like they're in the single digits from Wednesday night through Friday morning.
Be sure to unpack the winter hats, glove, scarves, etc. to help you stay warm. It wouldn't be a bad idea to check your tire pressure and tread if you need to be out on the roads Thursday. With how poor road conditions are expected to be and how cold the air will feel, it would also be a good idea to pack an emergency kit in your vehicle ,just in case.
This storm will likely break multiple records across the area. The record snowfall total for October 10 (Thursday) will likely be shattered in downtown Rapid City (0.8") and at the airport (0.7"). The record coldest high temperatures may tie or be broken downtown (28°) and at the airport (30°) as highs Thursday will struggle to reach the upper 20s. Another record likely to be broken will be the annual precipitation for downtown. We just need 0.15" of liquid precipitation (translates to 1.5" of snow) from this system to become the wettest year on record.
Attached to the article are photos of wind speeds, wind chill values, winter driving tips and snow totals. The snow total graphic will likely see changes between now and tomorrow evening when the storm begins. Updates will be posted as needed. Stay safe and warm as this storm impacts the area.
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