The Sioux Falls has seen it's second warmest start to November and soon the city, along with the rest of the Sioux Empire, will soon be trading in the warm weather... for snow. While it's been a warm start to November, street crews have been preparing for nearly a month for the first snowflakes to fall.
The sound of snow plows could be heard in the air around Ash Street Wednesday afternoon. It was a sunny and warm day... the calm before the snow.
"Last year was the same thing, first two weeks of November it was very nice, very warm... pleasant weather, everyone was running around in shorts," recalled Galynn Huber, Street and Fleet Operations Manager for the City of Sioux Falls. "In the last two weeks of November, last year, we ended up with over 17 inches of snow."
A mirror image of last year which is why street crews have prepared early as they do every year.
"In the middle of the summer we'll go through and put bits together, get our salt and liquid all set up for the winter. Our lease motor grader, our lease equipment, shows up the 15th of October," explained Huber. "We start putting snow gates on the 15th of October and usually by the first part of November, all the snow gates are on. We do that no matter what the forecast is."
In case another 17 inches of snow falls with this latest forecast.
"We're trying to determine the snow amount and then," explained Galynn Huber, Street and Fleet Operations Manager for the City of Sioux Falls, "what we'll do is, fill up sanders tomorrow and we'll put them indoors overnight. Tomorrow we'll make a determination on when crews will come in."
Which is why Huber has been in constant communication with meteorologists, who say they've been eyeing this low since the middle of last week when it appeared on both European and North American weather models.
However as Phil Schumacher, Science Operations Officer for the National Weather Service Sioux Falls, explained the path has changed since they first saw the low.
"There was a time, there, where it looked like we could see snow, over 6 inches, mostly over western South Dakota and then it shifted, 12 hours later, to where it looked like it was over eastern South Dakota."
While there was uncertainty as to where the low would travel the path has become more clear. Which, in turn, means determining snow totals has become more clear as well.
"The track of the low is so very important and this low's track has been varying quite a bit over the last 72 hours," explained Schumacher. "It's kinda settled in in the last 24 hours where we're starting to get more confident in snow totals."
And as the latest model data comes in and the latest forecasts are determined, that information will be relayed back to Galynn Huber, Street and Fleet Operations Manager for the City of Sioux Falls, and his crew.
"It's like getting ready for anything... football season. You have a procedure in place, we know by November first we better be ready to play the game."
The snow that is expected to fall comes exactly 52 weeks, one year, after 18 inches of snow fell near Tea... while just seven inches fell 15 miles north of that... at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport.
Those at the National Weather Service want to make sure that you are getting the latest information from sources you trust, especially when it comes to snow or severe weather. Yor the latest information when it comes to forecasts, you can follow KDLT Weather on Facebook and Twitter or follow the National Weather Service Sioux Falls on Facebook and Twitter as well.