From Breezy Winds to Fire Danger and Severe Weather...to Now Rain
by Angela Schilling, Meteorologist
October 08, 2011 9:10 PM
Over the last several days the Northern Plains has seen a mixed bag of weather…. from high winds to fire danger to severe storms. As we progress into the weekend the main focus will be several rounds of light to moderate rain showers. The first of week of October was extremely dry for this time of year with low dewpoints, high temperatures, low relative humidity, and breezy conditions…the perfect set up for fire danger. The image to your left is a visible satellite image highlighting areas where wild fires once burned…image courtesy of the National Weather Service.
At the moment a cold front is working it’s way across eastern South Dakota, but it is very slow to do so. Thursday night produced several strong storms in western South Dakota with pockets of large hail and gusty winds. The cold front is expected to stall out over the Sioux Empire before it finally pushes out of the area on Monday. Behind the cold front a second area of low pressure will begin to move to the north and east on Sunday before exiting the region late in the day on Monday. It’s possible we could see a few thunderstorms this weekend through the early portion of next week, but the majority of the rain activity will be your typical rain showers…not expecting anything severe at this point in time. The first image below is from 300mb, which is where the jet stream is found. Currently we have an area of low pressure to our southwest, allowing us to be in the right hand side of the trough...sending impulse after impulse of energy into the region.
Currently showers are stretching from South Dakota southward through Texas, along the outer fringe of the trough. By Sunday afternoon the cold front will finally move to the east and the area of low pressure over Colorado will begin working its way to the north and east as well…sparking a second round of showers. By Sunday afternoon we could pick up a good half an inch of rain in many locations, especially south of I-90, with upwards of an inch possible over south central South Dakota.
As a combined total, by Monday evening many of us will receive between 1 and 2 inches of rain.