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Frigid Monday Night... Major Winter Storm Thursday

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Blizzard conditions effected parts of the area Monday thanks to the gusty winds and light snow that fell in some areas, but this is just the start of a far more active period that many will experience in the Midwest in the coming days.  Temperatures will drop dangerously cold Monday night as the winds that brought the blizzard conditions during the day will bring frigid wind chills to the area through Noon on Tuesday.  Then a much larger storm will develop in the central Plains on Wednesday and consume much of the center part of the country with snow, some of which will fall right here in South Dakota. 

Lets start with the dangerous cold Monday night.  Granted, this is nothing we haven’t experienced all ready this winter, however don’t let that be a reason not to take precautions.  Wind chill values could drop to 35 below zero in spots across the east Tuesday morning, which can lead to frostbite in under 15 minutes with exposed skin.  Here is what our futurecast shows for wind chills at 7am Tuesday morning.

Not something to smile about that’s for sure.  At least though, the extreme cold will be pretty quick hitting with warmer conditions expected by Wednesday, but that’s when our next storm moves in, and this one could impact travel for upwards of a dozen states in the central U.S.  This sucker could be a monster with 6 inches or more of snow falling in upwards of 8 states.  Now the exact track of this storm is still to be determined so the forecast will likely fluctuate a bit as it gets closer, but here is what it looks like right now.

The heaviest snow will likely stay to our south in the purple shaded areas of Nebraska and Kansas, however, heavy snow is still possible in the darker blue area which extends across much of South Dakota and southern Minnesota and as far southeast as northern Missouri and western Illinois.  Here is a look at 2 different computer models that forecast snowfall amounts.

Both of these show widespread heavy snow, especially in Nebraska with upwards of 18 inches.  But they do paint two different pictures for our area with heavy snow making it further northeast in the first image, but stops short of the I-29 corridor in the second image.  This is because there will be some dry air that gets pulled into the northeast side of this storm which could have a large impact on snow totals across the east.  This is where the greatest amount of uncertainty remains for total snow accumulation.

Here is a little bit different forecast from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC).  They forecast in probabilities (percentages).  The following images show the probability of receiving at least an inch, at least 6 inches, and at least a foot of snow from Wednesday evening through Thursday evening.

A HUGE area is forecasted to receive at least an inch of snow from Wyoming to western Illinois.  Much of Nebraska, northern Kansas, and western Iowa are expected to receive at least 6 inches of snow.  Areas around Omaha and Lincoln could get more than a foot of snow, but even that probability area extends northward into South Dakota.  As much snow as this sounds, this isn’t even the whole storm because the snow will continue into Thursday night and Friday morning adding even more snow in some areas.  Remember that this forecast is not concrete and will likely fluctuate as we go forward so stay tuned to KDLT and KDLT.com for the very latest.

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