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Storm system brings moisture, cooler weather this week

National Weather Service projection of snow totals for an Oct. 12-13 storm.
National Weather Service
Rapid City office
National Weather Service projection of snow totals for an Oct. 12-13 storm.

We’re all being welcomed to cooler autumn weather this week as a massive storm system makes its way across the state west-to-east.

While much of South Dakota is likely to see rain and wind Thursday into Friday, some areas may see the season's first blast of snow.

Rapid City-based National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Calderon is expecting a lot of precipitation.

“There’s a ton of moisture with this system," Calderon said. "It’s going to bring a lot of rain to the plains of southwest South Dakota through south-central South Dakota. All that moisture going over the Black Hills where it’s going to be colder with the higher elevation, it looks like they’re going to get several inches of snow.”

Calderon said the lower-elevation foothills and the Rapid City area are likely to avoid snowfall for now.

At the National Weather Service office in Aberdeen, meteorologist Amy Parkin has rain on the menu.

“That whole system is going to shift to the east and wrap precipitation all the way across central and eastern South Dakota and into parts of western Minnesota as well," Parkin said. "Then it’s just going to slowly track its way across the area and keep us in a pretty good area for rainfall all the way through Thursday night and into the day Friday.”

No snow is expected for most of East River, but it might be a good day to get out the windbreakers.

"We’re gonna see some pretty decent winds around the area starting Thursday morning sometime and continuing all the way through the day Friday," Parkin said. "We have a wind advisory out for that right now, looking at wind gusts in excess of 45 miles and hour, maybe as high as 55 in some spots.”

Parkin said the northernmost portion of the state is likely to avoid the worst of the storm.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture