A powerful winter storm system will impact most of our region beginning today and continuing through tomorrow and into Friday. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for a large portion of Central and Eastern South Dakota, Central and Northern Minnesota, Central Nebraska and Eastern North Dakota beginning today and continuing into Friday. In the Sioux Falls Area, a Winter Weather Advisory will go into effect At noon Thursday and continue through noon Friday.
There are a lot of different parts of the system. The Sioux Falls area will likely get more rain than snow. While we could still get 3 to 5 inches of snow accumulation across the Sioux Falls area, rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches will also be possible across extreme Southeastern South Dakota, Southwestern Minnesota and Northwestern Iowa.
Heavy snow north and west of Sioux Falls
This system will come in a couple of waves. The first will bring heavy snow to much central and northern South Dakota today and tonight. After a small break in the snowfall, the second more powerful wave of energy will bring more heavy snow with strong 30 to 40+ mph wind gusts.
Snowfall of 12 to 15 inches or more will be possible from Watertown to Aberdeen southwest to Mitchell, Chamberlain and Winner. The wind should hold to about 10 to 20 mph through the day today, but will gradually increase across Central South Dakota tonight and across the rest of the region during the day tomorrow. strong Northerly wind gusts of 30 to 40+ mph will create blowing snow and likely blizzard conditions tomorrow through tomorrow night into Friday morning.
Rain and snow in the Sioux Falls area
There will be enough warm air wrapped into the southern part of the system that Sioux Falls will actually get more rain than snow. As I mentioned above, there could be 2 or more inches of liquid precipitation that falls with this storm.
Sioux Falls will likely get some light snow by mid to late morning with an inch or so possible across parts of the Sioux Falls area by this afternoon. That snow will mix with and then change to rain later today as warmer air wraps into this system. Rain will continue through tonight into tomorrow morning. Rain will change back to snow tomorrow afternoon with another inch or two possible by late tomorrow afternoon. Snow will then continue tomorrow night into Friday which will bring total snow accumulation amounts to between 3 and 5 inches for the Sioux Falls area.
By tomorrow afternoon, strong northerly wind gusts of 25 to 35 mph will kick in and that will create blowing snow late tomorrow, tomorrow night into Friday.
If you are in the Sioux Falls/Tri-State area, monitor the forecast closely. The current forecast is the most likely scenario, but even a subtle shift in the storm track or temperatures that are a degree or two cooler than expected could result in a significant change in what actually happens.
Conditions will improve on Friday
Snow will end and conditions will improve throughout the day Friday. The weekend ahead will be dry with much colder temperatures.