Weekend Storm Continues To Unfold
by Joel Young, Meteorologist/Reporter
March 09, 2013 3:07 PM
This weekend’s storm continues to unfold across our region with quite a bit of rain already falling across the eastern half of the state. By 10:30 A.M, many locations had already picked up somewhere between a quarter of an inch to almost three quarters of an inch of liquid rainfall. Here’s a look at the amounts we have picked up over the past 24 hours. Keep in mind that some of these locations have already seen rainfall change over to snowfall, especially in areas along a line from Valentine, Nebr. to Sisseton.
As of now, it looks as though our forecast models have a fairly good handle on the storm. Here’s a look at a radar screen grab taken around 10:30 A.M. showing exactly where the snow and sleet was falling along with the rain. Beneath the radar image, you will find an image showing our Futurecast’s depiction only 30 minutes later. Keep in mind that some of this rain is also falling over areas where surface temperatures are below freezing, so that doesn’t necessarily mean that areas in green are only seeing liquid rainfall.
As you can see in the following images, road conditions are slick in portions of Northeast SD. near Peever, the SDDOT Safe Travel camera shows icicles hanging from the camera which goes to show that the highways you can see in the picture are likely iced over. We have continuously been getting reports of 0.25” of glaze in places like Sisseton, Clear Lake, and other portions of this area. Ice Storm Warnings are also in effect for many of our NE South Dakota and W Minnesota counties until 6 PM. Of course these are subject to change, so be sure to stay tuned to KDLT as we will continue to scroll watches, warnings, and advisories throughout the event.
For locations in the west, we are already seeing treacherous conditions along Interstate 90. Here’s a look at our SDDOT Safe Travel cameras as of 11 A.M. near Chamberlain and Mitchell. Chamberlain has been picking up just a little bit of snow at this point while Mitchell has seen mostly rain, but this will begin to change primarily to snow as we go into the latter parts of the afternoon. Beneath these Safe Travel shots, you will find our Futurecast model’s depiction of how things will look around 5 P.M. Saturday. It shows a hefty band of snowfall extending from Valentine to Chamberlain, northeast toward Huron and Watertown.
Of course, areas closer to the Sioux Empire are still seeing rainfall. However, we do expect Saturday night temperatures to drop well below freezing. This, along with the transition to snowfall will make travel very dangerous during the overnight hours in SE South Dakota, SW Minnesota, and even into parts of NW Iowa. Even with wet roadways, roads are slick in places like Dell Rapids as you can see in the SDDOT Safe Travel camera shot below.
Here’s a look at our Futurecast showing how conditions will look around Midnight Saturday going into Sunday. We should see most of the precipitation wind down across parts of the north and west, but another band of snow should set up somewhere in the southeast. This one looks like it may set up somewhere from Worthington southwest toward the Yankton area coming very close to the Sioux Falls area.
By Sunday morning, this system will be winding down with the last of the precipitation exiting the region by the early afternoon hours. Here’s a look at Futurecast showing where the precipitation will be set up around 11 A.M. Sunday along with how much snow and rain we could pick up before this is all said and done. Of course, these are models and we will not necessarily see these exact totals. We do expect possibly a little more or less than this in some areas.
As always, stay tuned to KDLT and KDLT.com with the most up-to-date information concerning this weekend’s winter weather event.