Tag Archives: Rapid City

Cold was expected, then it was even colder

The Northern Plains are in a vicious cycle, with waves of inclement weather sweeping into the area, bringing more cold and more snow to an area that doesn’t need it. Of course, in early April, what part of the country DOES need it? With that premise in mind, it’s even more frustrating for residents of western South Dakota that it was even colder than expected. A system moved through Rapid City and brought temperatures below freezing for almost the entirety of of the 48 hour verification period. There was also a nearly 5″ snowfall accumulation, which nobody needed, certainly. This snow, and these cold temperatures took everyone off guard, and forecasts were as terrible as the weather. Forecast.io barely had the best forecast, but it wasn’t particularly good.
Actuals: Monday – 2″ of snow, High 34, Low 16
Tuesday – 2.3″ of snow, High 21, Low 9

Grade: F

Rapid City, South Dakota

It’s time for the first forecast for the month of April. Hopefully, we’ll be a little more active this month, and the weather will start to get a little bit warmer.

At 1052, MT, Rapid City was reporting a temperature of 33 degrees with clear skies. Most of south Dakota was clear this evening, but that was leading to temperatures that were increasingly below normal for the beginning of April. A small consolation was the south wind across the state, associated with a warm front tied to low pressure centered directly to the north of Rapid City, near Spearfish. This area of low pressure was associated with a broader field of low pressure centered over Yellowstone.
As the feature moves over the Rockies Mountains, it will deepen in the lee area of eastern Colorado, though Raid City will remain in the warm sector of the low, as the warm front will continue to be analyzed through central South Dakota for most of the day on Monday. Cold air will begin to invade Montana and Wyoming at the back end of this system, likely reaching Rapid City by late Monday evening, and snow is likely to fall heavily through the night into Tuesday morning. Fortunately, the upper level trough, as well as the surface reflection will mature and move quickly.  The sun will be shining by Tuesday afternoon, ready to melt the quick, fresh several inches of snow in the region.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with flurries, becoming heavy snow late, High 42, Low 25
Tuesday – Heavy snow early, quickly clearing in the afternoon. 2-5″ storm total, High 32, Low 17

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies during the morning hours will give way to cloudy skies with light rain and snow developing in the afternoon. High 41, Low 25
Tuesday – Cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon.  (early snow)High 32, Low 17

AW: Tomorrow – Rather cloudy with a shower in the area in the afternoon High 46, Low 22
Tuesday – A flurry around in the morning; otherwise, times of clouds and sun High 32, Low 16

NWS:  Tomorrow – A 30 percent chance of rain after 3pm. Mostly cloudy (late snow), High 43, Low 26
Tuesday – A 20 percent chance of snow before noon. Mostly cloudy, High 30, Low 17

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning with a 40 percent chance of rain in the afternoon (late snow) High 41, Low 22
Tuesday  –  Breezy. Mostly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of snow in the morning, High 31, Low 18

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy with light wintry mix likely. High 43, Low 24
Tuesday – Windy with isolated snow showers, High 30, low 17

FIO: Tomorrow – Snow (1–3 in.) starting in the evening. High 39, Low 24
Tuesday – Snow (< 1 in.) overnight. High 32, Low 16

Looks like I am on the high side for snow, but I also know that the Rapid City area is also on the high side, abutting the Black Hills as it does. Higher terrain is bound to have more snow. A look at the radar shows a few wisps of light rain close to the North Dakota border. It’s snowing to beat the band in Billings right now, and all that is moving to the east.

San Antonio, Texas to Rapid City, South Dakota

Another day, another road trip here at Victoria-Weather. This is a fun one if you like trips through the high plains. Something of a surprise to me, it will only be a 2 day drive, which will cover 1194 miles in total. The drive will cover ground at a relaxed pace at 63.4mph, which will net a total mileage of 507 miles on Wednesday, with a longer day on Friday. I like the Plains. Let’s see how the weather is.

DAY ONE (Thursday)
A weak area of low pressure is going to be developing overnight across Texas, but its greatest impact will be across the Gulf Coast. There will be a threat for an isolated shower or storm over central Texas and only a bit of light rain over the western portion of the state. Even then, that light rain won’t be great in coverage. The best threat for rain will be early in drive, from about San Antonio to Sweetwater, but there may be a more convective storm into Amarillo. Don’t count on it, though. Our day will end on the north side of Amarillo. not even out of Texas!

DAY TWO (Friday)
High pressure over the northern Plains will be sinking to the south, carrying some cold air with it. This means there will be a swath of mixed precipitation on our route. There may be some fog and drizzle through the rest of our drive through the Texas Panhandle, followed by a break in southeastern Colorado, but then from Kit Carson to the Nebraska border, and particularly around Akron, expect rain changing to snow. We’ll get north of this region of mixed precipitation and the Nebraska Panhandle and South Dakota Black Hills will be dry but mostly cloudy. Check out Mount Rushmore while in Rapid City!
Rapid City

Cold shower

The month of October has been fairly tolerable across the Upper Midwest, but late this week, a high amplitude upper level trough developed over the lee of the Rockies. Low pressure developed in the southern High Plains and worked its way towards the North, and then by Thursday, it arrived in South Dakota. There was a broad swath of rain on the back end of the low, which is unpleasant enough, but also, the circulating trough brought in colder air. That meant cold rain in Rapid City yesterday, which was well anticipated but still nasty for residents. The most accurate bearers of bad news were The Weather Service, Weatherbug and WeatherNation. A trio at the top!
Actuals: Wednesday – High 60, Low 37
Thursday – .51 inches of rain, High 58, Low 35

Grade: B-C

Rapid City, South Dakota

Fall in the Black Hills is a wonderful time and place. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

At 852PM, Mountain Time, Rapid City was reporting a temperature of 54 degrees with clear skies. Rapid City was the exception to the rule across the region, where places like Spearfish were reporting overcast conditions. A lee trough was working on becoming more organized across the region, which at the moment only materialized as some mid-layer clouds.
The upper level trough pattern will lead to a pair of surface systems. The first is a stronger area of low pressure, initially, moving through Canada towards Ontario. At the base of the trough, a weaker but rainier feature will develop over the southern Plains. In between and over Rapid City, expect a surface ridge over western South Dakota through the day tomorrow. As the northern part of the upper trough shifts east on Thursday, the threat for rain in Rapid City will increase. The system the south will be drawn north into the primary trough, which in turn will encourage moisture to lift to the north as well. Some of the shower activity will be heavy, and will really become likely in the late evening. Tomorrow will be a cooler day, thanks to the upper trough passage, with or without organized shower activity.
Tomorrow – Mostly cloudy, High 59, Low 41
Thursday – Increasing clouds, with rain likely late, High 56, Low 42

TWC: Tomorrow – Mainly Sunny, High 61, Low 42
Thursday – Rain developing later in the day, High 57, Low 43

AW: Tommorow -Partly sunny High 61, Low 42
Thursday – Considerable cloudiness with rain arriving in the afternoon High 56, Low 39

NWS: Tomorrow – Sunny, High 60, Low 41
Thursday – A 40 percent chance of showers, mainly after noon. Mostly cloudy, High 57, Low 37

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny, High 59, Low 40
Thursday – 40% Chance Rain Showers, High 57, Low 37

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly Sunny High 59, Low 39
Thursday – Mostly Cloudy with Isolated Showers High 55, Low 36

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy starting in the evening. High 62, Low 39
Thursday – Light rain in the morning and afternoon. High 56, Low 42

Just a few clouds west of town right now. Should clear out tomorrow, but come right back in on Thursday…. with rain.
Rapid City

Bloomington, Illinois to Rapid City, South Dakota

This is a fairly simple, interstate heavy trip, though it will take two days to cover the ground. Because of the interstates, we will cover ground at a pace of 65.4mph, and will be able to be 523 miles into the trip before taking our break Sunday evening. Hotel rooms should be plentiful wherever we stop. Monday night, however, plan on camping somewhere near Mount Rushmore.

DAY ONE (Sunday)
There is a cold front that will lie across southern Illinois by the time we depart tomorrow morning, and an inverted trough brining showers through Wisconsin. Guidance seems to be pretty sure of the fact that Bloomington will be between those two features mid-morning tomorrow. Assuming that’s the case, we will be dry, though with a few clouds dotting the horizon. By the time we reach Iowa, the clouds should clear out, and we will continue through the Corn Belt with little to worry about in terms of the weather. We will make it to the wonderful, charming town of Elk Point, South Dakota, home of my fiancee’s grandparents (you can’t stay with them) by the end of the day on Sunday.

High pressure will remain in place across the South Dakota earlier next week. Early next week includes Monday, and we will be able to fly through the state with relative ease. The toughest part will be avoiding getting suckered into at least one of South Dakota’s many tourist traps.

Rapid City

Before we wrap this trip up, I wanted to make mention of why I was so late to forecast tonight. My dear friend Joel was married this afternoon. I am at the wedding and attended the ceremony. In addition to being a road tripping pal of mine through the years, he was also one of the original founders of this very site. He made the particularly wise decision of getting into another line of work, but we have remained friends, and I couldn’t be happier for he and his new wife.

Polar Vortex? What polar vortex?

Rapid City is a northern US town, and by all accounts should hve been subjected to the historic cold snap that the rest of the country endured. The 5th and 6th were a bit chilly, no doubt about that, but by the time Anthony got to the forecast on Wednesday, temperatures were recovering, and frankly, it wasn’t all that bad in the Black Hills. They stayed relatively warm and dry over the forecast period, and we ended with a tie between the the NWS and Weatherbug.
Actuals: Thursday – High 46, Low 18
Friday – High 43, Low 26

Grade: B

Rapid City, South Dakota

POLAR VORTEX!! Now that I have your attention, let’s go visit a city that’s significantly warmer than the eastern half of the country.

At 8:52pm MST, the temperature at Rapid City, SD was 25 degrees under fair skies. High pressure over the Upper Midwest will continue to slide off to the east as a lee trough starts to sag into the western Dakotas by midday Thursday. A system dropping through the Rockies will continue down to the Four Corners region, but a piece of energy could kick up some scattered snow showers as it passes by the Rapid City area Thursday evening. If anything does fall, it shouldn’t amount to much. On Friday, a storm system is expected to strengthen and lift through the Mid-MS River Valley up into the Great Lakes, largely bypassing the western Dakotas. However, another very weak disturbance could kick up some flurries/snow showers in the region. And once again, it won’t amount to anything if it does occur. Overall, a couple of relatively benign days.

Thursday: Increasing clouds late, slight chance of a few evening flurries. High 43, Low 21.
Friday: Another chance of a few evening snow showers. High 41, Low 22.

TWC: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 40, Low 23.
Friday: Mostly sunny. High 35, Low 25.

AW: Thursday: Partly sunny and milder, some evening snow showers. High 44, Low 20.
Friday: Some sun, breezy and colder. High 37, Low 22.

NWS: Thursday: Mostly sunny, slight chance of evening snow shower. High 44, Low 20.
Friday: Partly sunny. High 41, Low 24.

WB: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High 43, Low 20.
Friday: Partly sunny. High 40, Low 24.

Here we see a low cloud deck in the eastern Dakotas, possibly set to obscure some people’s viewing of some auroras expected tonight. Curse you clouds!

Just the beginning

Last night I posted about the storm that moved into the northern Mississippi Valley and eventually through Chicago and the Great Lakes. It changed it’s complexion shortly after I posted, switching from a derecho to a more typical series of squall lines. No matter what you call it, the complex got fired up initially around Rapid City on Tuesday. They reported wind gusts of up to 50mph around the airport but severe thunderstorm warnings littered the area Tuesday night. The rain was cut off fairly quickly behind the thunderstorms, and none of the activity lasted into Wednesday. In fat, the only thing that came through Rapid City on Wednesday was a thick layer of temperature dampening clouds that kept temperatures from even reaching 70 and made all of our forecasts bust. The Weather Channel’s forecast ended up being the least bad, because they had the coolest numbers on Wednesday.
Actuals: Tuesday – .42 inches of rain in thunderstorms, High 74, Low 56
Wednesday – High 68, Low 53

Grade: D

Rapid City, South Dakota

We are off on a voyage to western South Dakota and the Black Hills. It’s a part of the world that will be popular with tourists this time of year, so this may be an important forecast for some readers.

At 1152AM, MT, Rapid City was reporting a temperature of 80 degrees with a vigorous northerly flow. Gusts of over 30mph were being reported, and the sunny skies were allowing for the warm temperatures. Most of the forcing today in western South Dakota is surface driven, and the cyclonic circulation in the area was due to a lee trough becoming established over eastern Colorado.
An upper ridge will actually set up along the Front Range, but northwesterly flow off the Rockies in response to surface low pressure will be dirty, with isolated showers and thunderstorms erupting in the slightly destabilized air for each of the next two days. The storms won’t be fueled by much moisture, but warm temperatures and a slight twist to the atmosphere could lead to some violent storms tomorrow afternoon. The little wave will shift towards the Mississippi Valley by Wednesday, which will help cut off the flow of moisture into Rapid City, but not until after some heavy rain has fallen in the early morning hours.
Tomorrow – Isolated strong thunderstorms, High 78, Low 59
Wednesday – Heavy rain early, becoming mostly sunny, High 81, Low 57

TWC: Tomorrow – Isolated T-Storms High 80, Low 57
Wednesday – Isolated T-Storms High 75, Low 57

AW: Tomorrow – Partial sunshine with a thunderstorm in parts of the area; humid High 79, Low 58
Wednesday – Partial sunshine (early AM T-storms) High 81, Low 57

NWS: Tomorrow – A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny High 79, Low 59
Wednesday – A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly sunny, High 78, Low 58

WB: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny. A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon High 79, Low 58
Wednesday – Mostly sunny with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms High 78, Low 58

It might be stormy in western South Dakota, but we will be looking at discreet cells that won’t really encompass the entire area, so you might get that trip to Mount Rushmore in with no problems.
Rapid City