A significant winter storm moves in this morning

Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 5:26 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -Snow has already begun to move into far southwest South Dakota and eastern Wyoming Monday morning. The snow will increase in coverage across the region through the day and become heavy from Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon. Snow will then begin to weaken Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Extreme impacts are expected from this storm. Snow totals across the Black Hills and southwest South Dakota will range from 12″-24″ with more than two feet likely in portions of the Black Hills. Winds will increase Tuesday with gusts exceeding 60 mph at times. This will create blizzard conditions for much of western South Dakota. Blowing and drifting snow will be likely with drifts up to 5 feet or higher possible. This will make travel extremely difficult, if not impossible. As winds pick up and heavier snow begins to fall road crews will have a hard time keeping up with clearing the roads as their main priority will be keeping main lines and emergency routes clear.

It is strongly advised NOT to travel during this storm. Emergency personnel will be busy enough as it is. If you decide to travel, please pack a winter survival kit for your vehicle. If you become stranded, emergency crews may not be able to get to you in a timely fashion. You’ll want to include food and water, a flashlight, sand/cat litter, a phone charger, a first aid kit, jumper cables, a hat and gloves, a blanket, a tow rope, and a shovel.

Be sure to have a full tank of gas so you don’t run out trying to stay warm. If you do become stuck and you plan on keeping your vehicle running, make sure the exhaust pipes are free of any snow. If they become obstructed, carbon monoxide poisoning becomes a serious threat.

I expect no travel advisories and road closures to be likely, especially Tuesday and Wednesday if not sooner. Temperatures will eventually warm up into the 40s and 50s for Easter Weekend and could reach the 60s to 70s the following week.