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Round One Behind Us; Round Two To Come



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Unless you stayed indoors all day, you’re probably well aware that the snow has arrived across much of our region. After several days of above average temperatures, we’re finally seeing seasonable conditions—and there is more where that came from.

Early Friday morning, places like Pierre and Huron woke up to some of the day’s first snow showers. Then shortly thereafter, the rest of us got a taste of it. This area of snowfall slowly moved across our region dumping several inches in some places and leaving a few isolated spots lacking.

Here’s a look at some of the observed snowfall totals as of Friday night. Keep in mind that these observations are strictly confined to one location, so a few of these locations may have seen more or less on the opposite end of town.












As of now, most of the snowfall has tapered off to the east leaving only a few stray snow showers in SW Minnesota, NW Iowa, and a few stray flurries in eastern parts of South Dakota.

But don’t let this lull in snow coverage fool you. This weekend’s snow event is just getting started. In fact, even while the snow isn’t flying, the roads may still be dangerous due to dense fog as well as slick areas.

As we look forward toward Saturday, we will be seeing a larger system pass through dumping an additional few inches on top of what many of us saw today. In the following images, two of the major forecasting models we use place a new low over southwestern South Dakota. Through the day on, this low is expected to migrate northeastward into our region, drawing more moisture leading to more snowfall for many of us. 

NOON SATURDAY (GFS)



NOON SATURDAY (NAM)


6 P.M. SATURDAY (GFS)


6 P.M. SATURDAY (NAM)


Also, in these next two images; notice how the low is drawing some warmer air northward into South Dakota with the colder air pouring in from the north on the back side. Of course, the big story with Saturday’s system will still primarily be snowfall. However, with the slightest warm air drawn into this system at a certain level; we could see some melting of the snowfall before it reaches the surface. But with surface temperatures likely remaining below freezing during most of the period; there is a good chance we may see some freezing rain. Either way, the roads will likely be very treacherous so keep these things in mind.

6 P.M. SATURDAY (GFS)



6 P.M. SATURDAY (NAM)


With these things in mind, some of us could possibly see a brief period of freezing rain before transitioning to snowfall shortly thereafter. Right now, it looks like the bulk of the precipitation will be found along and north of Highway 14, but some locations along and south of I-90 could pick up an extra inch or two before it’s all said and done. Here’s a look at the snowfall totals our Futurecast is predicting through the weekend followed by another one of our models showing the possibility of even more snowfall for some isolated spots in extreme NE South Dakota and central Minnesota. Keep in mind, however, that sometimes models tend to over exaggerate these amounts and should only be taken with a grain of salt.






Finally, in these next two images you see the same area of low pressure shown by the same two models as it has moved to our north and east into NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin. Notice the huge area of pink that spills out of the north back behind that system. These extremely cold temperatures in the upper levels, along with clear skies, calm winds, and snow cover across the region will allow temperatures to drop well into the single digits and even slightly below zero in some locations.

6 P.M. SUNDAY (GFS)



6 P.M. SUNDAY (NAM)


With all of this being said, the majority of our northern counties are under a Winter Storm Watch through Sunday morning as this next system begins to roll its way through our region. Be mindful of the weather conditions, stay safe, and stay warm.

Obviously, this weekend is shaping up to be an active one in the KDLT Weather Center and you can bet that we will be here monitoring every second of it. Stay tuned to KDLT as we bring you all the latest updates.
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