Significant Snow Expected for Most of the Sioux Empire
After nearly three weeks without seeing measureable snow in Sioux Falls, Old Man Winter is making a comeback. The last day that Sioux Falls and Mitchell saw measurable snow (0.1” or more) was November 26th, the day before Thanksgiving. Since then, our average temperature has been 5.5° degrees above the normal leading to green grass and a more Spring-like feel, but that all changes on Monday.
A low-pressure system called a “Panhandle Hooker” is spinning along the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles, pulling moisture up from the Gulf of Mexico and pushing it north into southern South Dakota. As this is happening, a cold front is moving east through South Dakota and Minnesota pulling down an arctic air mass. As these two systems combine, they create quite a mess across southern South Dakota.
Rain has already been falling intermittently in southern South Dakota and northern Nebraska and has already begun the transition from rain to snow in western Nebraska.
Overnight into early Monday we are expecting mostly rain for eastern South Dakota. Through the early parts of the day, especially east of the Missouri River, rain will continue. Some areas could see some periods of sleet and a rain/snow mix as the freezing line migrates east.
The transition from rain to snow looks to take place around noon if not a little bit after noon for those east of the James River. Northwestern Iowa will likely see rain throughout the day and that will lead to lower snow totals.
It looks like the snow will last long into the afternoon and through the evening commute hours before wrapping up during the early morning hours on Tuesday.
Amount of Snow
When all is said and done, many of us could be under a half of foot of snow. It is still tough to forecast when the transition from rain to snow will occur, and the timing of that will determine the amount of accumulation we will actually see. It’s possible that the transition from rain to snow could occur earlier in the day than guidance is indicating. Also, the location of the freezing line will make or break this forecast. Keep in mind that due to the freezing line, some places could see mainly rain with maybe a half an inch of snow while 25 miles to the west could see 6”+.
The official KDLT Weather forecast is for 6 inches of snow or more in Sioux Falls and Mitchell. Places along the South Dakota/Nebraska border may see even more depending on the time of transition. It is also possible that freezing rain may occur during the morning hours resulting in icing. This could bring potential snow totals down as well. Below is a look at the official forecast.
Make sure to allow yourself extra time to travel out there and to adjust your speeds to the road conditions. With rain and sleet possible before the snow begins, a thin layer of ice could be on the road.
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