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Snow forecast: 6-10 inches

One inch of moisture may not sound like much, but farmers and ranchers will welcome it from a snowstorm that is forecast for the area Wednesday. The weather system will start out with rain Tuesday and change to snow late that night, said Mark Paq...

One inch of moisture may not sound like much, but farmers and ranchers will welcome it from a snowstorm that is forecast for the area Wednesday.

The weather system will start out with rain Tuesday and change to snow late that night, said Mark Paquette, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.

"There's a good chance the snow will accumulate and will seep into the ground to help soil moisture," he said. "With the rain, you should get well over 1 inch of liquid."

The storm will start out with rain, which could turn into freezing rain tonight, possibly making roads slick under what snow falls before the morning.

"So be cautious for ice under snow on your way to work," Paquette said.

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The snow will likely be heavy into Wednesday morning and become lighter toward the afternoon.

In all, the area is supposed to receive 6 to 10 inches of snow. The record April snowfall for the Mitchell area is 12 inches on April 27, 1907. More recently, Mitchell received 9.8 inches of snow on April 4, 2009.

"Normally, when it does snow in April, it's deep because it's barely frozen rain," said Tim Masters, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

One of the region's snowiest Aprils was in 1983 when Sioux Falls recorded 18.4 inches of snow, Paquette said.

"So an April with anywhere near 10 inches of snow will be remarkable," he said.

Snow this late into the spring isn't unusual, he said, but the predictions are "pretty classic for an early spring storm for the Plains."

The worst of the weather should be over by Wednesday evening. A secondary system will attempt to bring more precipitation, but will likely only come in the form of light flurries.

The snow will likely stick around until Friday as the temperatures will stay below freezing at night, Masters said. High temperatures will be just above freezing Wednesday and Thursday, but Friday's high of 40 degrees will likely start to melt the snow into slush.

Related Topics: WEATHER
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