Archive for December 2007

Christmas bust

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 11:27 am
By: Administrator
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In weather lingo, a botched forecast is called a bust. And an old joke is that after a busted forecast, meteorologists go to the isobar – a pun on the term for equal pressure lines on a weather chart.
 
Okay, so weather guys aren’t the funniest guys on the planet. But if there had been an isobar open on Christmas night, you might have found me there.
 
Twenty-four hours earlier, on Christmas Eve, the forecast models were telling us that Sioux Falls would get a little snow on Christmas Day. Yes, there was a front coming through the area – but it was moving quickly, and there was limited moisture for the system to work with behind the front. The models showed a frontogenetic band (translation: convergence of air in the clouds that would have something of a snow-fence like result), but it was forecast to be south and east of Sioux Falls by Christmas night. One of our models, which had been very reliable of late, showed Sioux Falls getting zero precipitation at all. But since we had been carrying a one-inch snowfall amount for Sioux Falls, I stuck with it in my evening forecast, and so did the National Weather Service.
 
At 9:00, one hour before the late newscast on Christmas Eve, I looked at the latest computer run in shock. It lit up a band of snowfall over Sioux Falls and kept it there all day. Sometimes models do this for a single run, and then settle back to the way they were, so there was some uncertainty in what it was showing. Nevertheless, I quickly updated our snowfall forecast to 2” to allow for this change, and then included the potential for heavier snow under the band when I showed FutureScan that night at 10 pm. But who was I kidding – did I really expect people to tune in for the late weathercast on Christmas Eve?
 
I woke up on Christmas morning, looked outside and breathed a sigh of relief… until I looked at radar and saw the frontogenetic band forming in the middle of the atmosphere squarely over Sioux Falls. I called Tony Barlow, who was working our morning shift at the station, and he confirmed my fears. I got dressed and went to work early – knowing that I was in for a long, ugly, not-so-merry Christmas in the Storm Center.

All is Quiet in KELOLAND

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 1:13 pm
By: Administrator
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After a couple of cold and active weeks in early December, our pattern has shifted and we are looking at much quieter weather for the next week or so.  As far as temperatures go we will see very cold temperatures for your day on Friday. However, after Friday we will look for a steady warm up through the weekend and into next week.  The winter storm track will take most of the storms over the next week or so farther south, creating active weather in the southern plains but keeping the upper midwest high and dry.  Because of the warm temperatures many people will be seeing their current snow cover start to melt a bit, especially in central and western South Dakota.  The northeast will stay a little bit cooler because of their current snow pack.  Enjoy the warmer temperatures through the weekend, as we all know the weather can turn on a dime here in KELOLAND!

Central US Winter Storm

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2007 at 3:54 pm
By: Administrator
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A major winter storm will move through the central United States over the next couple of days to lead to numerous travel problems.  It’s a storm that you will probably hear a lot about duirng the national newscasts as sleet, rain, freezing rain, and snow will be a problem from northern Texas to the western Great Lakes.As the storm starts to pull out of the southwest United Staes, plenty of Gulf Moisture will override the colder air from the north.  Freezing rain will be a problem from Oklahoma to western Illinois, with areas of heavy snow possible from Kansas through central Iowa.The storm might just glance parts of southeast KELOLAND with a chance at about an inch of snow.

Weather 12/9 pm edition

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2007 at 3:54 pm
By: Administrator
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As high pressure continues to hang around tonight, the flurries and light snow will eventually go away.  It’s the cold and DRY high pressure system that kept many locations from getting measurable snow north of Interstate 90 on Saturday.  The 2-4” of snow we had predicted for Sioux Falls on Saturday was eaten for a late lunch by the high!  Ugh!
 
Looking ahead, the work week will stay cold with temperatures remaining in the teens and 20s for eastern KELOLAND, but a couple of 30s might make it to western South Dakota Monday and Wednesday.  In between those days, a ‘back door’ cold front will help increase the clouds and decrease the temperatures for Tuesday.  We’ll have to watch for the chances for snow as the system moves through.  The best chance to see any light snow will be in northeast KELOLAND with about 20%, but these quick fronts don’t usually give us much measurable snow, as much of the energy amd moisture should be well to our east.
 

Sunday AM Light Snow

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2007 at 7:55 am
By: Administrator
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The dry air from the north kept a lot of the snow south of Interstate 90 yesterday, but this morning the snow is falling north of the interstate.  This area of light snow will continue to move northeast through the morning with some areas able to pick up an inch of snow.
 
 
Snow amounts from yesterday ranged from 3-5” in extreme southeast South Dakota and northwest Iowa.

Weekend Snow…Update Part 2

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2007 at 4:35 pm
By: Administrator
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The battle between cold, dry air and warm, moist air continues over KELOLAND.  As we expected areas south of I-90 have seen the most snow so far and that should continue.  Snow started to fall in Sioux Falls at around 2 pm and should continue off and on until tomorrow afternoon, when all is said and done folks around Sioux Falls should look for about 2-4 inches of fluffy light snow.  Snow totals will decrease dramatically as you go farther north.  There will also be a few light snow showers possible out towards Pierre and Rapid City although accumulations should be pretty minimal.  South of Sioux Falls toward Sioux City and Yankton snow totals could be a little higher because they have seen heavier snow throughout the day Saturday.  We will slowly start clearing out as we make our way through Sunday although the southeast should continue to see at least a few snow flakes.  The other thing we are dealing with are the frigid temperatures, we won’t see much of a warm up until we make it into next week, and even then temperatures will probably continue to be below normal.  After this weekends event the southeast will see another shot of snow on Tuesday and then it should be pretty quiet for the rest of the week.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Weekend Snow…Update

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2007 at 8:29 am
By: Administrator
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Well, it looks like more snow is on the way for our Saturday and Sunday.  We have been keeping an eye on a system down to our south for the past few days, and now it is finally making the move northward.  This system is a little different from the typical snow makers, we see this time of year.  We are basically stuck in a battle ground between cold dry air to our north and warm moist air to our south.  Where these two meet and interact is where we will see the snow fall today.  One of the challenges is figuring out just how strong the components are.  It is now looking like Sioux Falls and the southeast will be looking at more like 3-6 inches of snowfall, while Aberdeen may only end up with a dusting to an inch.  Pierre should be looking at the possibility of 1-3 inches while they are still expecting 3-6” in Rapid City and more just south of Rapid City.  The heaviest snow will fall south of I-90 over the weekend and some isolated spots could receive 10 inches or more down in northern Nebraska  Two positives with this system are that it isn’t bringing much wind with it, and that because of our cold dry air the snow will be light and fluffy, and easy to shovel.  Snow showers will continue tonight and linger into the day tomorrow for eastern South Dakota.  Temperatures will also stay very cold for the rest of the weekend.  By next week we should see things calm down a little big after the east gets another shot of snow on Tuesday.  Temperatures will also warm slightly as we continue through next week. 
 
The snow should start up for Sioux Falls sometime late this afternoon, with some of the heaviest snows falling tonight.  With the combination of this snow coming and the frigid temperatures it would probably be a good idea to have a winter survival kit in your car if you do have to head out.  Stay tuned for more updates!
 

Update on weekend weather

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2007 at 10:41 pm
By: Administrator
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The latest models seem to suggest a slight northward movement of the heaviest band of snow. As Scot and Tony have been saying, it is cold enough to be all-snow throughout the period. Sioux Falls, Mitchell, and I-90 have been added to the Snow Advisory by the National Weather Service.The slight northward movement of the heaviest band raises the expected snowfall values, even though snowfall should be slow to initiate in areas along I-90. Northeast winds will keep drier air near the surface, and that should "eat up" some of the snowfall before it reaches the ground. There should be a sharp cutoff between areas of heavy snowfall, and nearby areas to the north which receive little. Here are the latest projections from our Futurescan model:Sioux Falls and SE South Dakota, plus adjoining areas of NW Iowa and SW Minnesota will see some lingering snow showers through Sunday morning. About the time you put the shovels away… another chance of snow will be in the forecast for Monday night into Tuesday!-Jay Trobec

Weekend Snow

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2007 at 4:54 pm
By: Administrator
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A storm system will move out of Colorado to give KELOLAND another round of snow tonight and tomorrow.  Some of the snow will be heavy at times in southwestern KELOLAND with amounts over 6” by Saturday evening.  Snow will spread into south central South Dakota overnight and into tomorrow morning, this area will also pick up 3-6” south of I90.  Southeast KELOLAND will stay dry tonight, but snow will develop later in the afternoon tomorrow.  Some areas in extreme southeast SD will pick up 4-8” of snow near the Nebraska border by Saturday evening.  I am concerned about dry air working in from the northeast.  The snow will have to overcome the dry air before actually hitting the ground.  

More Snow for the Weekend

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2007 at 10:15 am
By: Administrator
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It is looking like we will have one more decent day across the state today with a little bit of sunshine before things really cool off and get snowy for the weekend.  The next system approaching the area is looking a little different from last week’s storm, in that the track of the Low Pressure will stay a little farther south.  That will mean an all snow event with no threat for mixed precipitation.  Typically, sometime during the day before a snow event we will start to see some consensus from the weather models we use to forecast.  Well, that hasn’t happened yet, so nailing down exact snow totals is still a bit of a challenge.  I think a good general rule is about 3-6” out west with some 5-8" amounts just south of Rapid City.  For central South Dakota 3-6” is a good bet with snow totals decreasing as you go farther north.  I think the southeast will look for about 2-4” while the northeast may see 1-3" with alot of northern South Dakota getting shut out for this event.  Temperatures for the weekend are going to be very cold making this snow much more light and fluffy than last week’s storm.  After this weekend eastern South Dakota may have to deal with another round of snow for Monday night into Tuesday. Because of the model disagreement there will most likely be some changes in this forecast so stay tuned to KELOLAND.com and KELO-TV for all the latest on Saturday’s snow.