National Weather Service cautions travelers after Christmas snowstorm
NORTHERN HILLS — Following a fairly mild and dry December, a Christmas snowstorm is bringing some snow accumulations to the Black Hills area, making for potentially dangerous holiday travel conditions.
Katie Pojorlie, meteorologist with the U.S. National Weather Service in Rapid City, said that for the Northern Hills area, snow is expected to continue today and taper off by late afternoon and evening.
“(Those areas) could see another inch or two with this first system,” she said.
Then, a second system is projected to come through the area Thursday that may bring another inch or two of snow to the Northern Hills before it is forecasted to move to the east and bring more accumulation to Central and Eastern South Dakota.
Pojorlie warned travelers going east or north after the holiday to take extra precaution, as they will likely run into some potentially dangerous road conditions, including icy, snow-covered roads and blowing snow.
Additionally, she said winds are expected to pick up tonight and into Thursday.
“So that could cause some blowing snow and reduced visibilities as well,” she said.
Pojorlie said that 2-5 inches of snow accumulation can be expected for the Northern Hills area through tomorrow. By Friday, the majority of the snowfall will likely have moved eastward.
According to the National Weather Services’ Facebook page, heavy snow will then develop across central South Dakota tonight as snow ends across northeast Wyoming. A foot or more of snow will fall across south central South Dakota tonight into Thursday night. Gusty north winds will develop tonight across the plains of western South Dakota and continue through Thursday night, resulting in blowing snow and significantly reduced visibility. The weather service recommended travelers consider alternate routes or delaying travel.
Additionally, the weather service recommends that people who must travel have emergency kits in their vehicles and follow winter-driving rules.
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