Major winter storm forecast to hit hard on SundayUp to 11 inches of snow possible in Mitchell area, says NWS.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
A major winter storm will slam into South Dakota Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service, and heavy snowfall and high winds will continue through Sunday night.
The NWS states there is a 100 percent chance of snow Saturday and Sunday. Up to 10 inches of snow may land in the Mitchell area starting late Saturday night, with the majority of the snow coming down Sunday.
Brad Adams, an NWS hydro-meteorological technician based in Sioux Falls, said the Mitchell area will be at the center of the storm, and blizzard conditions are likely Sunday.
“We do have a watch out for Davison County and your area. It does appear you will be in the best area for snow and wind,” Adams said. “It probably is going to be blizzard conditions out your way.”
Ron Olson, Mitchell’s street, sanitation and landfill superintendent, was gearing up for the storm Friday.
“It could get kind of ugly,” Olson said. “Today we’re making sure all our equipment is ready.”
The city primarily uses one-way plows that push the snow in one direction, but city workers were getting their V-plows ready Friday afternoon with a forecast of nearly a foot of snow. Those plows will push snow in two directions and can get through deeper drifts, Olson said.
They haven’t been used for a few years, but after hearing the snowfall prediction, they were readied for use.
Mitchell residents should be mindful of where they park Saturday night, Olson said. If the storm hits as predicted, people need to keep emergency routes clear.
The city tickets and tows vehicles parked along those routes if a snow emergency is declared after 2 inches or more of snow falls. The city and media will make announcements if such a declaration is made.
The weekend will begin pleasantly, with a high near 45 today, according to the NWS forecast.
But rain will start this afternoon, Adams said, and snow will be added to the mix around midnight as the temperature slips below freezing.
A mild east-northeast wind will become a north-northwest wind blowing 25 to 30 mph Sunday afternoon, according to Adams. Gusts may hit 45 mph, he said.
Up to 8 inches of snow could fall during the day Sunday and will be tossed around by the wind during the afternoon and evening, according to the forecast.
Another inch of snow is likely Sunday night as a cold, windy night sets in.
Monday will remain windy, with blowing snow, and possibly a little more snow. It will be a cloudy start to the week, with a high around 24.
The forecast kept getting worse Friday, and while most of the snow is predicted to land Sunday afternoon and evening, Olson said he will keep a close eye on weather reports and the conditions.
“Whenever it hits, we’ll be there,” he said.