Looking Back at Our First Snow of the Season
by Angela Schilling, Meteorologist
November 20, 2011 8:13 PM
This weekend’s storm proved to be a mixed bag of winter weather…some areas dealt with a ton of snow and others dealt with hardly any snow at all, but a decent amount of freezing drizzle. The majority of the snow fell along and north of highway 14 around Pierre, Hayes, and Huron. Watertown received 4” of snow on Saturday, breaking its old record for November 19th of 3.9”. Keep in mind a lot of these totals are preliminary, and may change. After the snow came to an end we were left with a very cold air mass and slick roads. The satellite image to your left is from Saturday morning with heavy bands of snow falling in Huron and Watertown.
The image below shows some of the snow totals from Saturday’s storm. The snow began falling late Friday night West River and continued to work its way eastward over the next 24 hours, all-coming to an end by Saturday afternoon. By Saturday morning, Pierre had already picked up around 7” of snow. Thankfully wind speeds weren’t too terrible, however, they were just strong enough to cause blowing snow and lower visibilities below one mile. In general, winds were around 15 to25 miles per hour, sustained.
In the southeast, freezing drizzle was the main concern, coating the roads with an invisible layer of ice. In a nutshell, freezing drizzle occurs when there is still a lot of dry air in place…along with freezing temperatures at the surface and warmer temperatures aloft. Freezing drizzle can be problematic simply because it’s so hard to see.
With snow on the ground and cool Canadian air in place…Sunday morning turned out to be quite chilly throughout the region. Overnight lows were especially cold north of I-90 in areas such as: Watertown, Aberdeen, and Sisseton. In the southeast temperatures were still cold, but not nearly as cold as where there was still snow on the ground. If there’s any snow on the ground, our heat source the sun, gets reflected instead of absorbed. As a result highs on Sunday were a good ten degrees warmer south of I-90.
So here’s the good news…a warm up is on the way, just in time for Thanksgiving, the image below shows temperatures for Wednesday afternoon from the GFS model. Stay tuned to KDLT and KDLT.com for the very latest.