It’s going to be a busy weather day across KELOLAND. Already we’ve had reports of severe weather from last night in southwest SD. Here are a few of the reports:0420 PM HAIL 5 SE RED SHIRT 43.60N 102.82W 03/28/2007 E1.00 INCH SHANNON SD PUBLIC 0610 PM TSTM WND GST WALL 43.99N 102.24W 03/28/2007 E60.00 MPH PENNINGTON SD TRAINED SPOTTER 0610 PM HAIL 4 S PORCUPINE 43.18N 102.33W 03/28/2007 E0.88 INCH SHANNON SD TRAINED SPOTTER 0630 PM HAIL 5 NNW KYLE 43.49N 102.23W 03/28/2007 E0.75 INCH SHANNON SD TRAINED SPOTTER 0630 PM HAIL 13 SE WALL 43.86N 102.05W 03/28/2007 E0.88 INCH PENNINGTON SD PUBLIC 0650 PM HAIL DUPREE 45.05N 101.59W 03/28/2007 E0.88 INCH ZIEBACH SD LAW ENFORCEMENT PEA TO NICKEL SIZE HAIL 0710 PM HAIL INTERIOR 43.73N 101.98W 03/28/2007 E0.75 INCH JACKSON SD TRAINED SPOTTER 0735 PM HAIL SWETT 43.17N 101.95W 03/28/2007 E1.00 INCH BENNETT SD TRAINED SPOTTER Now onto the next round of weather…We have flood watches in effect for eastern KELOLAND tonight and tomorrow, while western areas are dealing with heavy snow. A winter storm warning is in effect for the Black Hills and most of NW SD. Rapid City will see a mix of rain and snow today with very strong north winds up to 50 mph.Thunderstorms that move through the east tonight and tomorrow will likely produce 1-2" of rain. Since some of the rivers are still running near bank-full across eastern KELOLAND, it won’t take much rain to cause additional flooding. There could also be a little severe weather. The map below is the latest outlook from Thursday morning from the storm prediction center. The slight risk of severe weather included southeast SD.It looks like we may see a break in the rain tomorrow afternoon…perhaps even a little sunshine. However, another piece of this storm moves toward southeast KELOLAND Friday night and Saturday. The graphic above shows the total precipitation forecast by one of our computer models (NAM). The blue and purple colors show widespread 1-2" rainfall and in Wyoming, it’s not rain but snow. Several FEET are possible along the eastern slopes. Stay tuned!
Archive for March 2007
We have been saying on television that Spring starts, officially, a few minutes past 7 o’clock this evening (Tuesday, March 20th). We immediately started getting emails claiming we were wrong, because some calendars say that Spring begins on Wednesday, March 21st.The calendars are misleading. Spring begins at 7 minutes past midnight Greenwich Mean Time, which is seven minutes into Wednesday March 21st. Our clocks in the Central Time zone are five hours behind those in Greenwich, England. So our season change takes place at 7:07 Central Daylight Time on the evening of March 20th, while the Spring change takes place in England early on the morning of the 21st. So except for you viewers watching KELOLAND News on the internet from England, Europe, or Asia – Spring officially starts tonight, not tomorrow.
Viewers send us pictures all the time, but rarely do I get handed a photo. However, that was the case the other day. As you can see below, that’s a BIG robin! Just a nice picture for you to see. Notice the date and all the snow…just 9 days ago!
The promise of warmer weather is being realized across KELOLAND, which is very nice to see after our recent blizzard. All along I-90 from Rapid City to Chamberlain, the mercury has cruised into the mid 60s. I had a viewer in White River email us at noon with temperature of 70.5…and loving it! All of the areas with a heavy snowcover will be few degrees either side of 40 the next couple of days. I don’t think anyone is complaining about that…but wouldn’t it be nice to see some 60s in the east? Unfortunately, the climate records tell us that is not easy. The Sioux Falls National Weather service did a winter climatology study relating snowcover to high and low temperatures. What they found is that during the second week of March, the maximum temperature recorded was around 50 degrees with a snowpack of 6” or more. In other words, that’s about as warm as we can expect it to get until this snow goes away. The more that melts, the faster the warm-up will accelerate. We are forecasting 50s early next week based on the notion that the snowcover will be rapidly melting during that time…helping boost the temperature even more. If we didn’t have snowcover, we could add about 10-15 degrees to that forecast. If we had dry ground, I’d forecast 70 in a heartbeat. But oh well, that’s the lasting legacy of a big blizzard…a slow, but steady recovery toward spring. And don’t forget…there’s still plenty of time for more snowstorms!The graph below shows the weekly maximimum temperature recorded in Sioux Falls when 6 inches or more of snowcover was observed.
The snow is done, but the winds will continue through much of the day in eastern KELOLAND. Expect wind speeds of 20-30 mph (with higher gusts) through the afternoon to create areas of blowing and drifting snow. The winds WILL relax by sunset with speeds averaging 5-15 mph overnight.
Tomorrow (Sunday) will be a good day to continue to dig out! We’ll have sunshine, light winds, and temperatures will be 10-12 degrees warmer. While the new snow pack will keep our temperatures in check, the March sunshine will feel good on our backs as we continue to move snow. We don’t want too much melting too soon…this would only lead to flooding problems. A gradual snow melt will work just fine.
The coming week looks dry, it just becomes a numbers game in the storm center…just how warm we get during the day. Our forecast from last night and this morning has highs in the 40s in eastern KELOLAND by Wednesday. We’ll have to see, with our current snow depth, it may be tough…we’ll need those infamous South Dakota winds to help us, and that might just happen! This forecast map is for Wednesday evening. Notice the ‘warmer’ yellow and orange colors in the western United States. That’s warmer air heading our way…
The blizzard continues this afternoon…and now the question remains, when will it be over? The wind is the key to the forecast, and we’ve seen the speeds increase as forecast in central KELOLAND to around 50 mph. Even Rapid City had a gust to 66 mph a little earlier. The wind is forecast to stay strong from the north through tomorrow, although the blizzard warnings are set to expire at 6am. There may be some extensions to the weather headlines tomorrow because the north wind will continue in eastern KELOLAND. In fact, I think SW MN could have more wind tomorrow compared to today. The west and north will improve, however, verses today. We’ll watch that.
In case you are curious, this is the last in the series of 3 storms that has affected our area. They say things come in 3’s and often the case in weather. The result has been a tremendous amount of new snow across the region. Watertown has 26” on the ground the last time we checked earlier today. It will be interesting to see how fast it warms because some flooding would seem possible along the Big Sioux with all that snow to the north.The map below shows the total snow depth as of Friday morning.
I’ve noticed the reports of sunshine in Sioux Falls, but let up your guard. The low pressure continues to move through northwest Iowa this afternoon allowing moisture to spread north into much of northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota. Interstate 29 has been the cutoff for the heavy snow, but the strong winds have been causing a lot of the problems with blowing snow resulting in whiteout conditions in open areas. As snow moved into Aberdeen this afternoon around 3:00, this showed me that the moisture is starting to wrap around the low pressure system and I anticipate eastern South Dakota to fill in with snow this evening and overnight. SO, the period or two of sunshine peeking through the clouds in Sioux Falls (and southeast South Dakota) will fill in with more snow on the way. Along with the falling snow, winds will continue to increase this evening and last for quite some time. BLIZZARD WARNINGS will continue tonight and into tomorrow in southeast KELOLAND and will be in effect starting this evening in northeast KELOLAND through into tomorrow. While visibilities outside your window may look okay, getting out into open areas is a whole different ballgame.
As is typical, snow amounts will vary greatly across the area. Parts of Minnesota and Iowa will have (on average) 8-12” with isolated areas over a foot. Sioux Falls and areas along Interstate 29 will have 4-8” with amounts of 3-6” in northeast South Dakota. Of course, these are average amounts…some spots more, some spots less. The snow will leave late tomorrow afternoon, but the winds will stay. Of course, the winds will continue to create low visibility problems with blowing snow tomorrow night and into Saturday for eastern KELOLAND. We do anticipate the winds to relax late Saturday afternoon with sunshine working in from west to east.
While western and central South Dakota will see temperatures warm to the 30s and 40s on Sunday, the recent snow pack in the east will cause our numbers to be cooler (20s). BUT, as I hear from a lot of people, “I don’t mind the snow so much in March, because it doesn’t last long.” I expect to see temperatures above freezing with plenty for all of KELOLAND by Tuesday.
It’s about 9am and the weather here at the station is still not bad. However, we are watching several factors coming together to give us a quite a storm. First, our Beresford Doppler is showing snow…heavy at times….in NW IA. Sioux City has ¼ mile visibility. You might think the Iowa snow would miss most of our area. However, if you loop the radar, you’ll see the snow bands are lifting to the north-northwest. The wind is just starting to increase…but both the GFS and NAM (American computer weather models) have the winds increasing to the 30-40mph at 1000ft-2000ft by noon from Sioux Falls and points south. The winds stay unidirectional in the lowest 10,000ft through most of the storm…with the highest winds speeds noted at between 4pm this afternoon and 3am tomorrow morning. That doesn’t mean the worst weather conditions will experienced during those hours, however. We use various forecasting techniques to decide how much momentum transfer will be available to transport that high wind to the surface. That would indicate gusts to around 45kts through Friday morning….or about 52mph straight off the computer. I generated those numbers using the 6Z run of the NAM computer model.
I still think the heaviest accumulation will be in Iowa and Minnesota. The Iowa Great Lakes area north and south stands the best for a foot or more. I still think Sioux Falls will be on the line…where western Minnehaha County could be closer to 4” and the east side near 10”. Remember too, the wind is the reason for the Blizzard warning…not the snowfall forecast. The worst of the wind will be in south and west of Sioux Falls in this system. That’s because the pressure gradient will be greatest in those areas between the 980mb low over northeast IA and a weak high pressure in Montana by tomorrow. By the way, 980mb for a low is really impressive. That’s like a land hurricane! Please stay safe today and please, feel free to post your weather reports on our blog!The map below shows the total liquid precip forecast…which will be all in the form of snow for KELOLAND. The blue shaded areas indicate where 6+" will be likely through Friday. The purple spots will be over a foot.