Weekend Winter Storm Continues
by KDLT Weather
February 10, 2013 6:20 AM
Getting some of the first snowfall reports into the station from across the north. Aberdeen tops the list at 7.1" with Watertown at 4.7", Selby at 4", and Mobridge at 2.5". Because of what we have been seeing, we expanded the coverage of 8 to 15 inch snow totals a little further west and south with areas bordering the original prediction already closing in on 8 inches with lots more snow to go. Stay tuned to this page as we will continue to update through the storm.
While most of the country has been focusing on this winter storm across the Northeast, our eyes have been focused on a storm that is just now developing and knocking on our door this Saturday evening. Models have flip flopped with several different solutions, but I believe we finally have a better understanding as to how much snow we will get, and where it will fall. Of course, this snow will also come with gusty winds so blowing snow may continue to impact travel even into the first of the week. It’s very important to get anything done now before conditions go downhill because travel is going to be very difficult, if not almost impossible as this system intensifies.
We’re already beginning to see precipitation move into the area and we’re seeing a little bit of both rain and snow. This precipitation will be rapidly increasing through the evening and overnight hours. Some of this rainfall could be heavy at times with the possibility of a flash of lightning or flash of lightning, believe it or not.
Here’s a look at how we have been forecasting this storm to begin along with one of our most recent radar screen-captures taken shortly after our 6 p.m. newscast Saturday night. It looks as though we already have a good grasp on how things are starting out.
Of course, this storm is just getting started and there are several things we must pay close attention to. Things can change very quickly and as always, we will be keeping you updated with the very latest right here at KDLT and KDLT.com.
One thing we must keep in mind when it comes to timing of this rainfall switching to snowfall is the rainfall rates. When heavier rain falls from the atmosphere, it is more likely to pull colder air from the upper levels possibly making the transition to snowfall happen that much more rapidly.
By midday Sunday, our blizzard should be underway across our region. Locations south of I-90 and east of I-29 will generally see only a mixture of rain and snowfall, especially into NW Iowa. However, we will continue to monitor any changes. Here’s a look at the counties that are under Blizzard Warnings as of around 8 p.m. Sunday evening. Also, I’ve included a glimpse as to where a couple of our models, GFS and NAM respectively, are currently forecasting our heaviest snowfall to be set up around 12 p.m. Sunday. Following that is another glimpse as to where the Canadian model forecasts the heaviest snowfall to be set up around 6 p.m. Sunday evening.
GFS Noon Sunday
NAM Noon Sunday
Canadian 6 p.m. Sunday
As of now, with models coming to an agreement on snowfall totals being much heavier along this band; we have extended our snowfall total forecasts to the south and west into North Central Nebraska and South Central South Dakota. Here’s a look at what our Futurecast Snowfall is predicting along with our interpretations of what will likely happen. Keep in mind, there may be locally higher amounts in some of these areas. On top of that, along the periphery of this heavy band of snowfall, you will have a tight gradient of snowfall totals. What that means is that if you were to travel toward this heavier band of snowfall, you will see a drastic increase in snow totals over a very short distance. Either way, you should not be traveling in these conditions as roads will be slick.
Of course with blizzard conditions, winds are always a factor. Once the snow has finally exited our region, we will likely have an issue with blowing snow. Here’s a look at wind speeds just above the surface at around 6 p.m. Sunday. We expect winds to be sustained at around 20 to 25 mph. with gusts anywhere between 30 and 45 mph at times. This will cause an issue with blowing snow even into the day on Monday once the snow has passed. With this in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised to see blizzard warnings extended a few hours later if winds do not calm a bit.
NAM 6 p.m. Sunday Winds
GFS 6 p.m. Sunday Winds
As always, we will have the very latest here at KDLT and KDLT.com. We already have reporters in some of the areas we expect to be hardest hit, so we will have live coverage during the day on Sunday along with all three meteorologists on call. Please stay warm and stay safe.