Tag Archives: Rapid City

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

Rapid City, South Dakota to Laredo, Texas

We’re taking a road trip, well aware of the the hurricane out east. It’s probably a good idea that we’re making the trip through the high plains, then, from Rapid City to far southern Texas. It will be a 1388 mile journey that will take almost three days, thanks to a lot of time spent off the interstates. In fact, almost none of the drive will be on an interstate and all of it will be through corn or wheat fields. Our off freeway driving will mean we will drive at a rate of 62.6mph, and will cover a paltry 500.6 miles a day. It’s beautiful in it’s stark emptiness out there. You have to believe me.


Another deep trough in the Northern Plains is spinning up trouble tonight for the Dakotas and High Plains. We won’t entirely wait it out by the time we are ready to leave tomorrow morning, and there is a chance for some showers and isolated thunderstorms over southwestern South Dakota that will linger as we leave Rapid City. Expect some showers to remain with us as we slide into Nebraska and to remain an issue as far south as Chadron (though the chance will go way down before we even reach Nebraska). Expect some breezy conditions and seasonably cool temperatures as we make our way into eastern Colorado and beautiful Wiley, between Kit Carson and Lamar.

Our drive on Friday will actually take us through some real cities, like Amarillo and Lubbock as we make our way into western Texas. It will continue to be a dry, easy driving day as we drive the high plains. We’ll be on our way to Sterling City, which is between Big Spring and San Angelo, our destination for the night when we will see our first hint of clouds or rain.

The cloudy, intermittently dreary weather will probably continue for most of southern Texas. It’s a possibility that we will stay dry the whole drive, but we may see a little splash of rain, particularly around Del Rio and Eagle Pass. Just enough to force the windows closed in the hot stuffy weather. We’ll arrive in Laredo with cloudy skies and hot temperatures surrounding us like a blanket.