A winter storm system sweeping through the Mitchell area this weekend could bring roughly 6 to 10 inches of snowfall.
That’s according to Philip Schumacher, meteorologist with the National Weather Service of Sioux Falls, who said the developing weather system has seen a jump in snow totals compared to initial forecasts.
“Things have changed a bit since our last forecast, and we’re expecting a larger amount of snow to move into the Mitchell area Friday night into early Saturday morning,” Schumacher said.
While Schumacher noted the possibility of temperatures reaching above freezing during the early afternoon hours today, causing a drizzle, he said the snow will likely begin falling by mid-day into the evening hours.
Schumacher said he expects Mitchell to see 2 to 5 inches of snow overnight and into Saturday morning. In addition, Schumacher said Mitchell is expected to see roughly 2 to 5 inches of snow through Saturday afternoon into Sunday evening. Temperatures are expected to hover around 32 degrees through Friday night and climb up to 40 degrees for the Saturday high. However, Schumacher said Sunday will be much cooler with temperatures peaking at around 30 degrees. By Monday morning, Mitchell will see clear skies.
“That snow will likely come to an end Sunday afternoon, but the winds will be pretty gusty for much of the day on Sunday,” Schumacher said. “Even though the snow will drop off, we’re going to see a lot of blowing snow into late Sunday afternoon, and conditions really won’t start improving until Sunday evening after sunset.”
Considering the historic wet year much of South Dakota experienced this year, pushing back planting and harvesting, the late November snowfall only added another challenge for grain farmers who are in the midst of harvesting.
Todd Kirby, grain department manager of CHS Farmers Alliance in Mitchell, said the sporadic weather combined with recent snowfall has caused less corn coming into the grain elevators compared to previous years.
“I think everybody would agree that there has been some reduction in the volume of corn coming into the elevators,” Kirby said. “The weather, the lack of acres that were planted are just two of many variables that are playing a role.”