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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 07/22/2014 09:45)  (click your refresh button to ensure most recent forecast)

This morning's 300 mb chart shows upper level ridging extending from western TX northwestward through western Alberta. SD is in mostly westerly flow aloft downstream from this ridge axis and a quick look at the water vapor imagery shows a few wrinkles in the flow--the causes of the overnight thunderstorms. Temperatures this morning are in the 60sand 70s with dewpoints in the 60s. North to northeast winds are being reported statewide. There are a few showers now crossing from Gregory County in Charles Mix County but otherwise the state is partly cloudy to mostly clear.

Somewhat of an odd forecast for today. We'll be on the south end of a high pressure that is sliding east over the ND/Canada border. This will allow winds to transition from the northeast to the east, and eventually southeast over western SD. These southeasterly winds will push air upslope over the Black Hills creating a favorable environment for thunderstorm development. However, with the surface high pressure come building heights, subsidence, and somewhat of an unfavorable thermodynamic profile for storm development. But then again, later today faster winds will move in aloft creating a favorable shear profile. Instability + lift + shear = severe thunderstorms... we are missing the synoptic scale lift. Regardless, with the high dewpoints and orographic lift/convergence, we'll likely see a few storms. If they go up over the Black Hills they may produce marginally severe hail before dissipating with the setting sun. The rest of the state should remain mostly clear. Temperatures today will be cooler than yesterday with highs approaching 90 over the southwest and highs near 80 over the northeast.

Similar or slightly warmer temperatures will be seen tomorrow with breezy southeasterly winds.  There is another slight chance for thunderstorms over western and southwestern SD late tomorrow; however, the rest of the state will stay precipitation free.


Critical Fire Weather

No critical fire weather is expected.


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Weekly Weather Update:

Weekly Weather Update:  Monday 14 July 2014

(Climate) Cool conditions this week have eased some stress in a few locations of south central to east central South Dakota.  Combined with precipitation during the week we have removed some areas of dryness in the Huron to Faulkton areas.  Locations southwest of Huron, to Charles Mix and Gregory Counties continue to run drier than average.  Some reduction in greenness is occurring in these areas.  But drying out is not a real concern at this point.  Wet and cool conditions continue largely across western SD leaving conditions still very green for this time of year. Current cool and dry conditions will give way to warmer conditions later in the week and next week. (Dennis Todey)

(Weather) Unseasonably cool conditions are plaguing the area as a deep upper level trough rotates over the Great Lakes region. This setup has brought strong northwesterly winds aloft to the region which, in turn, has forced a surface Canadian high pressure system to move into the area. Gusty northwest winds are found across the state today while temperatures will only peak today in the 60s to lower 70s. The high pressure will center over SD tomorrow which will bring a shift in the winds to the east and southeast. High temperatures will only be a few degrees warmer than today with mostly clear skies once again.

The high pressure will slowly slide to the east on Wednesday bringing southeasterly winds to most of SD. Temperatures will warm into the 70s statewide. Showers and thunderstorms are likely over southeastern WY and western NE through the day but most all of the precipitation should stay to the south. If anything, a few showers and storms may squeak into far southwestern SD. Thursday will bring highs in the 70s and 80s with light south winds and mostly clear skies.

A warming trend is expected for Friday-Sunday with highs in the 80s and 90s likely… one of the weather models is even painting 100s across much of central and western SD on Sunday. I think that is a bit aggressive at this point but regardless, things will definitely warm up as compared to today and tomorrow. No widespread precipitation is expected across the state through the weekend.

Summary: Cool conditions early this week will transition into average or above average temperatures for the weekend. Minimum RHs through the week should stay above 40% although somewhat lower RHs are possible this weekend depending on warm the high temperatures get. No critical fire weather is expected. (Darren Clabo)

(Fire/Fuels) No new information to report.  (Jim Strain)

*** NOTE: Next update on Monday 21 July ***




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 *