Winter storm to impact South Dakota this weekend

Published: Dec. 26, 2019 at 4:49 PM MST
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A strong storm is developing in the southwest and will continue to intensify as it moves northward. Impacts from this storm will be felt from Colorado and Kansas, into Wyoming, Nebraska, the Dakotas and Minnesota. Heavy snow and high winds are expected to be the main threats.

**There is still plenty of uncertainty with this storm, so this forecast is likely to change between now and Friday evening. Any shift in the storms path will create significant changes to the forecast.**

Locally, the storm will begin to impact the area late Friday afternoon and evening. Wintry precipitation will move in from the south after sunset and impact the plains. It could start out as a freezing drizzle/snow mix before transitioning to all snow Friday night. Many locations will see snow from this storm, but the worst of it will remain east of Rapid City.

There is a Winter Storm Watch in place for the Meade County plains, Pennington County plains, Custer County plains, Fall River County Plains, Oglala County, Bennett County, Jackson County, Haakon County and Ziebach County from 5 p.m. Friday through 11 a.m. Sunday. The heaviest snow will be falling in these locations where 6" of snow or higher are very possible. Along with the snow, winds will be gusting between 40-50 mph or higher, which could create blizzard conditions at times.

Travel will likely become extremely difficult to impossible in these locations, too. I'd expect there to be no travel advised and the interstate to be closed in the plains east of the Black Hills. You will need to adjust any travel plans accordingly due to this storm.

For those along and in the Black Hills and in northeast Wyoming, the snow does not look to be anywhere near as significant. However, the wind will be just as strong, especially for those in South Dakota. Gusts will reach 40-50 mph Friday night through Monday evening.

As for snow timing, the best chance looks to be Friday night and into Saturday morning. A few snow showers may linger through the day Saturday, but many will stay dry into Sunday as the snow stays in the plains. Less than an inch of snow is expected for northeast Wyoming, While Parts of Harding and Butte counties may receive a dusting up to an inch. Locations in the hills may receive up to a couple of inches from this storm. In Rapid City up to 2" looks to be possible.

Graphics are attached at the bottom of the article showing the locations of the Winter Storm Watch, expected wind gusts and a comparison between models for snowfall amounts. The "Weekend Snowfall Possibilities" graphic is NOT an official forecast. This is just to show you how much uncertainty exists within this storm. An official snowfall forecast will be released Friday morning or midday.

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