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Wild Weather Weekend

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What a difference a day makes!! I realize we say that a lot, but that statement couldn’t be anymore true over the weekend.  Some of us saw temperatures drop a little slower with about a dozen degrees for three straight days.  The rest of us though saw numbers drop phenomenally fast Saturday night and Sunday with highs some 40 degrees colder Sunday afternoon.  This also set up a huge temperature contrast that our area sees roughly once a year.  Saturday afternoon, there was a 46-degree temperature spread between Mobridge and Spencer, IA.  There aren’t many places in the world that can see that kind of a contrast over such a short distance, that doesn’t involve drastic elevation change.  The good part about this whole storm was that most of us actually received some precipitation, which lets be honest, has become more of a novelty over the last 6 months.  Some obviously got more then others, but a lot of it fell in some of the areas in the worst shape.  Below is a review of what we had to endure and the craziness of this cold front that doesn’t come along all that often.

Lets start with the huge temperature contrast across the area.  Meanwhile, thunderstorms were occuring simultaneously with snow less then 100 miles away.

There's the 46 degree temperature contrast.  In case you are wondering, its roughly 400 miles from Spencer to Mobridge.  That equates to roughly a degree change every 9 miles..... wow! The cold air kept moving in all the way through Sunday evening.  This is one map that I can't stop staring at because it doesn't matter how used to South Dakota weather you get, this is still pretty amazing.

Dropping more then 40 degrees from one day to the next is a pretty big feat.

Of course we saw some rain and snow out of all of this.  Check out the totals below.  The first map is the 48 hour liquid precipitation totals for select cities.  The next two are contours showing estimated liquid equivalent totals for the southeast and then our entire area through this storm.

After the precipitation is over, we get to deal with the aftermath, so to speak.  One of my favorite things to view, to get a real sense at who actually received some snow and who didnt, is to look at the visible satellite when there are clear skies.  Granted, today was totally clear, but you are able to pick out the clouds versus the snowpack on mostly sunny days.

So this is a visible satellite image.  Its the quivalent of what you would see if you were floating in space right about South Dakota and looked down.  Now I have colored lines on here to help you out.  The white to the right of the red line is a cloud deck, AKA low clouds.  The white on the left side of the blue line is all snow cover.  Pretty cool right? So you are able to view from space who received some snow and who didnt.  Now, this is really only good for seeing if there is at least a coating of snow on the ground, but you cant tell exact totals just by looking at it.  However, you can ballpark it most of the time.  Remember that snow reflects a lot of sun light.  So which amount do you think would be a brighter white from space; 2 inches or 12 inches??  The answer is 12, because the more snow you have, the more nature is burried.  That includes, roofs of houses, plants, grass, parking lots, etc... So the more of that everyday stuff thats burried, the brighter the image.
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