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Active Weather Followed By Cold Snap

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No matter where you live in our region, this week’s crazy weather has affected you significantly in some way or another. If it hasn’t, it will be over the next 24 hours as a much colder air mass continues to spill southward out of Canada. Along with this colder air mass comes the winds, which as we know all too well in the Upper Midwest; the wind makes it that much worse.

It might seem like a while back, but just a few days ago we were dealing with rain and freezing rain. Due to a thick layer of warm air in the upper levels of the atmosphere, our precipitation melted from snowflakes to rain drops as it fell to the ground. However, once it reached the surface; that rain froze on contact because temperatures started out at or just below freezing that morning.

All over parts of the southeast, accidents were reported including this semi that jackknifed on Interstate 29 between the 41st Street and I-229 exits in Sioux Falls. There were also reports of semis having trouble driving up hills along Interstate 90 in Rock County, Minnesota. Sioux Falls and Worthington picked up the most rainfall out of this system. Much of this was obviously frozen, but once temperatures warmed above freezing later in the day; driving conditions improved a bit.

Once the freezing rain was behind us, winds continued to blow out of the southeast Sunday night. That brought more moisture and warm air into our area. This, along with the added moisture from that morning’s rainfall, only made things more difficult for those traveling. Sunday night and into the day on Monday, conditions went from bad to worse as visibilities dropped well below 1 mile in many locations. In fact, at one point Monday morning, visibilities were down to 0.0 miles in both Yankton and Worthington. Elsewhere across the east, it wasn’t much better.  Dense Fog Advisories were in effect for most counties East River through the evening, and parts of the southeast through the day on Monday.

These advisories were extended through much of the day in the southeast after this screen capture was taken.

Behind the fog came the next big weather story that kept us busy once again. A band of snow developed around mid-day on Monday extending from Pierre to Aberdeen dumping several inches along this narrow area and leaving other areas with almost nothing. The band of snow fell apart on the southernmost end as it moved eastward with the heaviest moving out of our region into NW Minnesota and Eastern ND Monday night. Sioux Falls only saw a few flurries while others across the north and west saw about 8 inches.

Behind that band of snowfall, flurries continued to linger across parts of the region. In fact, another band of snowfall fell across parts of Nebraska and Iowa barely clipping our extreme southeastern counties in NW Iowa Tuesday night. Parts of the southeast were left with a snowless ground once again. The next big weather feature, which we are dealing with now, is covering us all. The cold has arrived!

Wednesday’s high temperature was reached shortly after midnight as the colder air filtered into our region during the following hours. As you can see in the following images, temperatures gradually dropped throughout the day for the most part. However, once the sun set later in the evening and winds picked up; you can see a drastic drop in not only temperatures, but wind chills as well.

Of course, with winds continuously blowing out of the north, these temperatures will continue to drop to dangerously cold values below -20 and -30, possibly even below -40! These temperatures are extremely dangerous to any exposed skin, leading to possible frost bite or even hypothermia if precautions are not taken.

Here’s a look at the counties issued Wind Chill Advisories and Wind Chill Warnings as of Wednesday night. Of course, these are subject to change at any time so you’ll want to stay tuned to KDLT as we keep you up-to-date. Also, keep in mind that these conditions are not forecast to improve during the day Thursday; so many schools have cancelled classes or delayed meeting a couple of hours. You will want to check our school closings page on KDLT.com to see the status of your child’s school.

Once we get through this cold snap, things are looking much more pleasant with highs getting back into the 30s and finally some sunshine for the first time in a while throughout a good chunk of our 7-Day Forecast. Of course, this is subject to change as well so we will keep you updated here at KDLT and KDLT.com. Stay warm and stay safe!
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