Weather Blog

Severe Weather Awareness Week Begins Monday

Now Is The Time To Prepare

After a quiet, mild winter, it’s time to prepare for our next season: severe weather. Whether it’s a severe thunderstorm, a flash flood or a tornado, it’s essential that you and your family not only  have a plan in case the worst happens but also make sure you know the terminology that meteorologists use so that you know how to prepare and take action effectively. Across South Dakota, next week is Severe Weather Awareness Week and KDLT wants to make sure you stay safe.Knowing the difference between a watch, warning, advisory and outlook is key during a severe weather event. First, an OUTLOOK is normally issued several days in advance and outlines an area where conditions WILL be favorable for severe weather. It’s at this time that you, at home, should start to make a plan. An ADVISORY is issued when a weather hazard is OCCURRING, IMMINENT OR LIKELY whereas a WATCH is issued when CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE WEATHER such as a tornado or severe thunderstorm. It is when a WATCH or ADVISORY is issued that you SHOULD HAVE a plan already made. A WARNING is when severe weather has been spotted by a trained weather spotter or indicated by radar and poses a threat to property or life. A warning IS NOT the time to make a plan, you should be already seeking shelter or taking the appropriate safety measures.

Rain Returns Mid-Week, Desperately Needed

Dry Conditions, Many Places 1.00"+ Below Normal

After a rainy end to the weekend, a few places in southeast South Dakota, southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa received some much needed rain from thunderstorms that were moving through the area. Dry conditions continue to persist across much of the region, but there will be another chance for showers mid week.The dry conditions across the region have been growing more and more due to lack of rainfall across the region. Both South Dakota and Minnesota are nearly 100% dry; nearly 100% of South Dakota is suffering from abnormally dry conditions while nearly 100% of Minnesota is suffering from a moderate drought. The soil is dry due to drought conditions from a couple years ago and the current dry conditions are only helping the situation but there is a chance for more rain on Wednesday night and Thursday.

Rain Chances Return To Northern Plains

Over 90% of Minnesota In Moderate Drought, 43% Of South Dakota

As of March 31st, nearly 100% of South Dakota is abnormally dry with almost 43% suffering from a moderate drought and in Minnesota, over 90% of the state is suffering from a moderate drought. However, over the last couple of days, the atmosphere has been gearing up for a very active upcoming week. The Storm Prediction Center is calling for severe weather across portions of Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas because of a low pressure system that is not only taking its time to develop but will bring the Northern Plains a chance for some much needed rain.

Much Needed Rain On The Way, Help Dry Conditions

Over 80% of SD Abnormally Dry, 88% of MN in Drought

It was a mild winter, much of the snow that we did receive quickly melted due to above normal temperatures. Now that we are starting off the spring, the upcoming growing season is upon us and, unfortunately, most of South Dakota and Minnesota is suffering from either abnormally dry conditions or a moderate drought. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s a low pressure system that will bring us some much needed rain.

Cooler Air Returns As Spring Begins

Spring Helps Transition From Winter To Summer

After spending 12 days under an unseasonably warm air mass, cooler air is set to move in as we inch closer to the official start of spring. After spending days in the 60s, 70s even 80s, the thought of snow returning may sound absurd but spring/fall are transition seasons so seeing flakes falling isn’t out of the ordinary.As winter ends and spring begins, the jet stream starts to make its way back north and warmer air replaces the cold, dry air mass that has been sitting over an area for the last couple of months. The same thing happens during fall, except it’s backwards; cold, dry air moves south and replaces the warm air mass that is typical for the spring and summer months.

Unseasonable Warmth Continues As Spring Arrives Early

Ridge Brings Warmth And Quiet Pattern

The first day of spring is March 20th, which means we have a little less than two weeks before we officially end the winter season. However, South Dakota, and much of the Northern Plains, will be under the influence of a strong ridge which means temperatures are not only unseasonably warm but they look to continue through mid-March.

A Recap of Tuesday’s Winter Weather

We have had a little bit of everything across the area today. Many of us woke up to freezing rain, sleet, snow or even just regular rain showers. The biggest impacts were to the north where we saw over a tenth of an inch of ice. By the afternoon Mother Nature turned her box fans on and turned them to high. Winds gusts have topped 40 mph in many places this evening. Below are lists of the ice accumulation from this morning as well as this evenings highest wind gusts.

Pineapple Express Brings MoistureTo West Coast

Much Needed Rain Seen In California, Impacts Plains Too

It’s been in the news lately for bringing much needed rain to the west, especially to parts of California where most of the state is suffering some form of a drought. It’s called the Pineapple Express but you won’t see Seth Rogen or James Franco in it. So what is the Pineapple Express and how does it affect us in the Northern Plains?The Pineapple Express is actually part of the polar jet, it’s a southern branch of it. A high pressure system that is located in the Gulf of Alaska blocks the polar jet but during the winter it weakens. As a result, the polar jet sometimes forms a southerly branch, which is better known as the Pineapple Express. This southerly branch typically is located just north of the Hawaiian Islands and brings moisture westward from as far as Asia. Much like how low pressure systems move across land, low pressure systems ride along the jet and bring heavy rain to the west coast. These heavy rains occur, typically, over the course of days but, sometimes, it can last for longer than a week.