If you are going to be traveling this weekend, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, it’ll be mostly smooth sailing with just a few little bumps in the road along the way. Enjoy that, because it looks like there might be a giant pothole developing on that road just after Christmas.
Our first minor travel inconvenience is already here. It is foggy this morning and with temperatures below freezing, roads and surfaces have become frosty. After the fog dissipates later this morning, it will become partly cloudy with high temps ranging from the mid to upper 30s in Sioux Falls and along and east of the James Valley, to the mid 40s across Central South Dakota.
A fairly weak, fast-moving system will bring scattered light rain and snow to Northwestern and Central South Dakota later this afternoon. Light snow will move across Northern South Dakota this evening. Amounts will be light, but locations along and north of US Highway 14 (Pierre to Huron to Brookings to Marshall) could get just enough light snow to make roads a bit slippery.
The weather will be relatively low key through the rest of the weekend and the holiday. Saturday and Sunday will be partly to mostly cloudy with above average high temperatures in the 30s. A few places could get a little light snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with slightly cooler but still above average high temps in the upper 20s to low 30s.
It is looking more and more likely that a winter storm will impact part of or all of our region just after Christmas. After looking at some of the latest data this morning, I’m thinking that we will start to see rain or snow develop across parts of our region by Wednesday morning with snow and wind possible through Wednesday, Wednesday night and much of Thursday. At this point there are a number of possible scenarios ranging from just a nuisance snowfall to a significant snow and wind event that has a major impact on travel across the region.
Please keep in mind that this thing is six days away and it’s still WAY too early to start changing holiday plans, etc. The best thing to do at this point is simply stay weather aware. Know that a winter storm is possible across parts of our region just after Christmas. Check the forecast and check it often throughout the holiday weekend, there will be plenty of changes and updates as this storm develops. And pack a winter survival kit and throw some extra blankets, old coats, etc in the trunk just in case. Phil, Sam and I will be monitoring this storm closely and will have the very latest as it develops.