NORTHERN HILLS – A low pressure system is expected to bring around two to three inches of liquid raining down on the Black Hills beginning tonight. But with temperatures dropping to around freezing, the liquid looks to turn to snow for the higher elevations.
“A common liquid to snow ratio would be 10 to one, so say you had an inch of liquid, you’d end up with 10 inches of snow,” said Greg Richards, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Rapid City. “For the Spearfish area, it could remain warm enough that most of this will fall as rain.”
However, Richards said, as locations in the higher parts of the Hills will see colder temperatures, that rain will turn to snow earlier in the system.
“Lead-Deadwood area could range anywhere from a foot to two feet where you get up high there,” he said.
Even though the lower Hills area can expect to spared from most of the coming snowmageddon, Richards did warn that cold wet conditions and high wind gusts could cause problems in the area.
“On Wednesday we could have winds gusting up to 60 miles an hour out on the plains of Western South Dakota,” he said. “That can be hard on some livestock even if we don’t get accumulated snow, it’s going to be cold, and wet, and windy.”
Richards said this is the time of year for folks to start preparing for more systems like this to come through, and to take precautions for severe weather.
“It might be time to figure out where you left the ice scraper,” he said with a chuckle. “This isn’t going to be our last system, we’re just getting started.