Very active weather pattern expected through Thursday
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - There’s a lot going on in the northern plains over the next few days. A strong weather system will bring extreme winds, critical fire danger and accumulating snow for some.
A High Wind Warning will go into effect at 9 a.m. on Tuesday and continue through midnight Wednesday night. Wind gusts of 70 mph or higher are expected across the area. This will create very difficult driving conditions, especially for high profile vehicles. Similar wind events that have swept through the area have caused semi trucks and campers to tip over, and this system will pose a similar threat.
Along with dangerous driving conditions, the extreme winds could cause damage and possibly some power outages. Be sure to strap down and secure any light weight items you keep outdoors, or bring them inside if that is a possibility.
Even though the High Wind Warning expires midnight Wednesday night, the strong winds will continue into Thursday, where gusts up to 60 mph will be possible. As of now it looks like an advisory will be needed for Thursday and perhaps a warning.
The high winds will also create critical fire danger across the area. A Red Flag Warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday. Even though temperatures aren’t warm, the dry fuels, low relative humidity and extreme winds are enough to create extreme fire danger across the area.
Avoid parking your vehicle in tall grass, secure the chains on your trailer, do not throw cigarette butts out the window, dispose of hot items properly and be fire aware over the next few days. You’ll want to avoid any outdoor burning until the winds calm down.
We have the wind and the fire danger, why not throw in some snow? The central and northern Black Hills are under a Winter Storm Watch from midnight Tuesday night until midnight Wednesday night. Significant snow fall is expected as upslope snow kicks into gear. Accumulations of 6″ are likely with isolated higher amounts possible.
Heavy snow and high winds will create blizzard-like conditions across the northern hills, reducing visibility down to near zero at times. Slippery roads will create difficult driving conditions, along with the strong winds.
Snow totals of 3″-6″ or higher are expected through the northern hills. Spearfish could see 2″-4″ of snow with higher amounts possible. While Hill City and Keystone are located within the Winter Storm Watch, snow totals are expected to stay less than 2″.
The wild weather pattern calms down toward the end of the week, where temperatures will warm up Friday and Saturday with plenty of sunshine.
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