Forget spring: More snow is on the way
Forecasters say South Dakota is in for yet another spring snow storm. Jim Murray, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, said Tuesday afternoon that snow was expected to begin falling Tuesday night in the Mitchell area, and residents can expect a prolonged period of light snowfall.
"We expect to see the snowfall continue through (today) into mid-afternoon Thursday with storm totals of 5 to 6 inches in the Mitchell area," Murray said.
Forecasters say the storm could dump up to 15 inches of snow in the southwest part of the state, with lesser but still significant amounts in other areas.
Mitchell has received a total of about 41 inches of snow from October to the present, Murray said, with a total of 5.45 inches of moisture from snow and other precipitation, again dating back to October.
NWS online statistics show that Mitchell has received 3.59 inches of precipitation since Jan. 1, an amount 1.18 inches above normal for that period.
State Climatologist Dennis Todey said that until recently, precipitation hasn't done much good for areas hit by a drought that began last fall.
Warmer temperatures in recent weeks have allowed soils to absorb much-needed moisture, he said.
Todey said spring climate outlooks will be released by his office later this week.
"We're probably still looking at a mixed bag," he said, with warmer than average conditions for late spring. In the short term, the warmth is needed to warm soils for planting, but it could become a problem as the state moves into summer months, he said.
A storm that hit the state last week dropped as much as 2.5 feet of snow on some areas and brought freezing rain to the east, coating trees and power lines and knocking out power to thousands.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.