Tag Archives: Rapid City

Autumn’s last gasp

Normally I would say something like “it sure is hard to forecast in the high plains” but not this time. There was only one really bad temperature verifying time for everyone during last week’s forecast in Rapid City, that being the low forecast on Wednesday morning. The forecast took a turn for the better when precipitation never fell on western South Dakota, and the lack of shower activity allowed The Weather Channel to nose ahead of the rest of the competition. 
Actuals: December 18th, High 55, Low 26
December 19th, High 49, Low 39

Grade: B-C

Rapid City, South Dakota

I keep talking about how difficult forecasting in the mountains can be, and yet we keep forecasting for cities with a heavy terrain influence. Rapid city is also one of the most notoriously difficult places to forecast for, which means there will be a lot to look forward to in the verification.

At 1253PM, MT, Rapid City was reporting a temperature of 57 degrees with sunny skies. The Front Range was on the western flank of a broad area of high pressure, and the combination of light southerly flow and a bit of mountain effect chinook winds were making for a magnificent afternoon.
Things will change tomorrow afternoon as a strong, broad trough moves into the Plains. The first area of cyclogenesis will be in the Canadian Prairies, as an Alberta Clipper winds up. Disturbed weather in the Gulf of Mexico will prevent moisture from siphoning into the Dakotas, so the primary threat in Rapid City will be an abrupt cooldown and only a few scattered showers on Wednesday morning, before the clear skies return, but with crisper conditions. 
Tomorrow – Increasing clouds, High 53, Low 29
Wednesday – Overcast early with some light rain, High 51, Low 34

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies.  High 54, Low 36
Wednesday – Sun and a few clouds with gusty winds High 49, Low 38

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny; mild high 51, Low 32
Wednesday – Sunshine and patchy clouds; windy, mild (morning rain) high 48, Low 34

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny High 53, low 31 (late rain)
Wednesday – Partly sunny (early rain) High 50, Low 35

WB: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy in the morning, then clearing, High 54, Low 49
Wednesday – Breezy. Mostly cloudy in the morning, becoming partly cloudy. Early rain. High 47, Low 38

WN: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny, High 51, Low 32
Wednesday – Partly cloudy with isolated showers, High 50, low 35

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until morning. High 51, Low 34
Wednesday – Mostly cloudy until morning and windy starting in the morning High 47, Low 39

A change is coming, but it doesn’t seem like much. In the mountains, though, anything can be possible.

Crisp cool nights with storms on the horizon

Thunderstorms were rampant and dangerous across the Dakotas on Friday, with severe storms afflicting the central parts of those states. There were tornadoes west of Bismarck in North Dakota and gusty winds and hail along the Missouri river in South Dakota. It mostly erupted to the east of Rapid City, however, with cooler air encroaching after the strong thunderstorms blew up and moved on. There was a trace of rain Friday night for Rapid City, but their forecast was marked mostly by clear skies and temperatures that were significantly cooler than what had been forecast for the overnight lows. Victoria-Weather ended up with the top forecast for the day, to take us into June..
Actuals Friday – .01 inches of rain, High 83, Low 51
Saturday – High 72, Low 45

Grade D-F

Rapid City, South Dakota

South Dakota may be contending with some rough weather before the night is through. But then what will come for the beginning of the weekend? That’s the mystery, isn’t it?

At 652PM, MT, Rapid City was reporting a temperature of 75 degrees with clear skies. Strong thunderstorms were erupting on a well defined warm front, running from south of Sheridan Wyoming to north of Mobridge. There was a severe thunderstorm likely producing large hail north of Hulett, in the far northeast corner of Wyoming. A short wave trough pivoting through the northern High Plains will initially bring a surge of clear, if hot and sticky air through overnight into the early afternoon tomorrow.
A cold front arriving on the area at the back end of the same system has the potential to touch off a few thunderstorms in and around the Rapid City area tomorrow evening, but the greater threat will be in the center of the state. Heavy rain and thunderstorms will press east through the Dakotas, while the Black Hills and Rapid City get an infusion of cooler, dryer air Friday night, leading to a quite pleasant day on Saturday.
Tomorrow – Warm and stuffy, with thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. High 85, Low 60
Saturday – Mostly sunny, much more pleasant. High 74, Low 52

TWC: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy skies. High 87, Low 64
Saturday – Mainly sunny.  High 75, Low 54

AW: Tomorrow – Partly sunny; very warm High 86, Low 61
Saturday – Plenty of sun; breezy, pleasant High 74, Low 51

NWS: Tomorrow – Mostly sunny (late thunderstorms) High 87, Low 63
Saturday – Sunny, High 73, Low 53

WB: Tomorrow – Breezy, Partly cloudy. A 20 percent chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Some thunderstorms may be severe. High 82, Low 65
Saturday – Breezy. Mostly sunny. High 71, Low 53

WN: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy with isolated storms, High 87, Low 63
Saturday – Mostly sunny, High 73, Low 53

FIO: Tomorrow – Partly cloudy until afternoon. High 85, Low 63
Saturday – Partly cloudy until morning and breezy in the morning. High 76, Low 56

That’s a pretty significant cool down for the weekend! Enjoy it, South Dakota. Here is the radar, showing the strong storm in northeast Wyoming.

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.