The bitter cold continues and we continue to monitor a winter storm system that could bring significant snowfall to our region late this week into this weekend. A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for much of the region including the Sioux Falls area. There is a lot going on in the weather today.
I’ll start with the cold. Frigid temperatures continue to impact most of our region this morning. While most places are actually above zero, strong northwesterly wind gusts have kept the windchill factor below zero for most of the night. Today will be mostly sunny with afternoon high temps in the single digits. Northwesterly wind gusts to 25 mph will keep the wind chill factor below zero for most of the day. Tonight will be clear and cold with lows dropping below zero. A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for parts of eastern South Dakota and western Minnesota tonight for wind chill values dropping to -20° to -30°.
Now the snow: A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Friday and Saturday and includes much of central and southern South Dakota and southwestern Minnesota. We will start with a brief, initial shot of snow – up to an inch in a few places – during the day on Thursday. The main event will roll into western South Dakota late Thursday night and move east by Friday morning. Moderate to heavy snow will fall through the day Friday and into Saturday. While it is still a little early to get specific, as of right now I think we could see a band of at least 5 to 8 inches along and north of I-90.
While the snow will end on Saturday, strong northwesterly wind gusts will create blowing snow on Saturday and Saturday night. Keep in mind, temperatures throughout this event will be very cold, so the snow will be light and fluffy and easily blown around.
By Sunday morning, temperatures will drop to near record lows. Sioux Falls could fall to -25° while parts of northern South Dakota get close to -30°. That’s actual temperature, not windchill. The good news is that it does look like we will warm up a bit next week.
Stay tuned for the very latest on this developing winter storm system. I will have updates and get more specific with snow totals and the track of the storm as new information rolls in.