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Darren R. Clabo

State Fire Meteorologist, South Dakota

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Current Conditions at SDSM&T


Daily Weather Discussion (updated 05/29/2015 09:31)  (click your refresh button to ensure most recent forecast)

An upper level trough is now pushing into the Dakotas and bringing more rain with it. At the surface, a cold front is diving through the state and this front is now stretched from the NE panhandle northeastwards through southeastern SD. The showers and thunderstorms are found along and north of this front with the primary areas of precipitation in SD being along and south of I-90. Temperatures are cool this AM with readings in the 40s and 50s with some low 60s over the southeast along the frontal boundary. Skies are cloudy statewide with north to northwest winds.

The showers will progress to the south throughout the day as the front moves that directly as well. Some clearing may occur over the northern third of the state but the rest of SD will likely remain under cloudy cover for the majority of the day. This will keep temperatures cool and highs will only reach the low 60s over most of SD, maybe reaching near 70 over the southeast. Breezy north winds will continue.

High pressure will build into the region tomorrow clearing the skies across the area. High temperatures are expected to range from the upper 60s west to near 60 east. Winds will transition from the north to the east or southeast throughout the day.

Critical Fire Weather

No critical fire weather is expected for the week of May 11.


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Weekly Weather Update:

Weekly Weather Update:  Monday 4 May 2015

(Climate) The best summary of the current conditions can be found in the May 1 press release from our State Climatologist. See the article here: (Dennis Todey)


(Weather) A weak disturbance in the mostly zonal (west-to-east) upper level flow is bringing western SD some much needed rain this morning. This surface analysis shows high pressure over SD/ND with light southeasterly winds over western half of the state and northeastern winds over the east. These southeasterly winds have led to a bit of upslope over the area enhancing the rain locally. The rain should stay confined to the West River areas throughout the day while dissipating later this afternoon. High temperatures will range from near 60s west to near 70 east. The surface high pressure system will slowly drift off to the northeast leading to light east to southeasterly winds over the entire state by sunset.


A trough of low pressure at the surface will develop in the lee of the Rockies to our west tomorrow. In response, east to southeast winds will continue across the state. Precipitation is likely along and south of I-90 throughout the day, with some increasing coverage expected over the rest of the state into the evening/overnight hours. Daytime temperatures will be dependent on the rain/cloud cover but highs in the 60s to lower 70s are likely, warmest over the east.


Scattered showers are again possible on Wednesday as the aforementioned low pressure system moves east. At this time, it looks like the heaviest rain will be confined to far western SD with limited showers elsewhere. The low pressure will then progress across the state overnight bringing increased chances for precipitation to the entire state after sunset. High temperatures on Wednesday will range from the 60s west to the low- to mid-70s east. Southeasterly winds are expected.


A cold front will accompany the low pressure as it moves across the state overnight into Thursday. This will lead to northwesterly winds for the state during the day on Thursday. A few remnant showers are possible with the highest probabilities of rain over the northeast. High temperatures will again range from the 60s west to the 70s east. Cooler conditions are expected Friday as light north winds usher in a high pressure system to the region. A few showers are again possible, mainly over West River areas. Highs will be in the 50s and 60s.


Cooler temperatures are likely to continue for the weekend as a deep upper level trough moves through the Great Plains. High temperatures will be in the 50s and 60s with good chances for precipitation both Saturday and Sunday.


Summary: Plenty of opportunity for moisture this week so no critical fire weather is expected. (Darren Clabo)


(Fire/Fuels) Central and Eastern SD continue to see wide spread fire activity last week in grass fuel models, although some green up is starting slow down rates of spread.  Almost all counties in central and eastern SD have enacted temporary burn bans.  For the next week, Western SD and the Black Hills should start to tamp down on both the rate of spread and ignition potential as forecasted cooler temps and rain will moderate any fire activity. (Jim Strain)


*** NOTE: Next update on Monday 11 May ***




Darren Clabo, SD State Fire Meteorologist:

Dennis Todey, SD State Climatologist:

Jim Strain, SD Assistant Fire Chief:



Darren R. Clabo * State Fire Meteorologist/Instructor * Institute of Atmospheric Sciences

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology * 501 East Saint Joseph Street * Rapid City, SD 57701 * (O) 605-394-1996 * (C) 605-381-9253 *