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Winter Storm Underway

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Temperatures are now falling in many areas with ice and snow widespread across central South Dakota and freezing conditions now in the east causing icy roadways, windows, and parking lots.  Now comes the snow, the blowing snow, and the bitter cold.  Temperatures will continue to fall overnight with winds increasing to 20 to 40 mph and gusts that could top 45 mph.  This will make travel dangerous, if not impossible in some areas overnight and through the first half of Saturday.  Travel is not advised by the South Dakota department of transportation in many West River locations and many officials are advising no travel across the entire area until sunrise Saturday.  This is just good advice, so if you don’t absolutely have to travel, just don’t bother. The snow with this storm has been a tough one to predict because there are some many different pieces to this large wave, versus what we typically get which is very compact.  So there is a little less confidence in expected snowfall, but we do have some numbers for you.

Here is what our futurecast shows for snowfall through Saturday afternoon.

This is really what we have been expecting all along, the heaviest snow in the northwest, generally 5-8 inches with far lesser amounts the further southeast you go.  Here is what the National Weather Service shows.

Pretty much the same depictions, although it does appear like the very light accumulations go a little further southeast.  But there has been a very recent development that wasn’t anticipated.  Check out the circled area in the radar image below.

Notice that this image is from 7pm Friday evening and shows a pocket of snow, and even a little rain/snow mix, in central Nebraska.  This particular piece is moving in a northeast direction.  It will be very interesting to see where this ends up and if it can hold together, because the current movement would bring it through sections of the east that were originally not expecting accumulating snow…. So something to watch for in the overnight hours.

What we do know is the cold will arrive Friday night and stick around through much of the weekend.  It will certainly be colder in areas that have seen accumulating snow, but all of us can expect below average temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills through much of the weekend.  Check out what futurecast shows for wind chills at the displayed days and times in the images below.

Expecting some very cold air.  Not record cold by any means, but you will certainly need to layer yourself appropriately if spending time outdoors this weekend.  Stay safe!

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