Another spring storm set to impact the area late Friday into Saturday
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Warm air will continue through Friday before a strong storm system impacts the area. The track of this new storm will be extremely similar as the system that impacted the area last week. Temperatures will be in the 60s and 70s Thursday and Friday. We will even have thunderstorms Friday afternoon and evening - some of which could be strong! Then, in just a matter of hours, heavy snow will be falling across parts of western South Dakota, northeast Wyoming, eastern Montana and into North Dakota.
Warm air and some sunshine Friday will lead to the development of showers and thunderstorms across northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota Friday afternoon and evening. Some of these storms could be on the stronger side. The best chance for any severe weather looks to be in south-central South Dakota and over toward Sioux Falls.
These storms will linger into the evening before cold air comes rushing in and causes the rain to changeover to snow in a matter of hours.
A Winter Storm Watch will go into effect just a few hours after thunderstorms roll through the area. The watch will begin around midnight Friday night and go through 6 a.m. Sunday. Significant snowfall is likely in many of these locations with 6″ of snow likely in spots. I wouldn’t be surprised if some areas got close to a foot or more.
The watch includes the counties of Sheridan, Campbell, Weston, Crook, Carter, Harding and Butte. The northern and central Black Hills are included in this watch, along with the northern foothills, which include Spearfish & Whitewood, and the Sturgis/Piedmont foothills.
Snow will start to fall from west to east Friday night and into Saturday. By the morning hours Saturday, much of the area will likely see snow falling. Some rain could mix in on the South Dakota plains south and east of the Black Hills. Snow will continue into Saturday evening before the storm system begins to pull away to the north and east. By Sunday morning, much of the moisture should be gone, other than potentially a few lingering snow showers.
Heavy, wet snow could pose a significant threat to young cattle across northeast Wyoming, northwest South Dakota, eastern Montana and into North Dakota. A heads up for ranchers to plan and prepare now.
Rapid City is NOT included in the Winter Storm Watch as of now. Some snow could fall, but accumulations do not look to be significant within the Rapid City area, given the latest data. Those within the higher elevations of town could pick up some accumulations, though. A slight shift south or east in this storm system could bring some heavy snow into town, but models have been fairly consistent in keeping the heaviest snow away for now.
Along with the heavy snow, we are expecting some very strong winds with this storm system, too.
Wind gusts of 60 mph or higher will be likely on Saturday. This will cause blowing and drifting snow in locations that see accumulations. Visibility will be significantly reduced and driving will be extremely difficult and even dangerous. Blizzard-like conditions are definitely possible with this storm.
If you have any travel plans into Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota or even the northern hills, you might want to look into changing those plans.
This storm system is still off into the Pacific Ocean, so models have yet to have a chance to collect ample data from the storm to determine the path, strength and amount of moisture associated with it. That being said, changes over the next 24-48 hours are likely to the forecast. Any shift in the path of storm could provide a big swing in the forecast.
Be sure to check back in on our social media pages, website and on our newscasts to find the latest information regarding this storm system.
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