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NWS: South Dakotans facing 'dangerous' cold amid holiday travel

NWS Dec. 22 forecast.jpg
National Weather Service
A graphic from the Sioux Falls NWS office showing expected wind chills from Dec. 21-25, 2022.

An arctic blast is set to descend upon the region as many people hit the road for holiday travel, according to the National Weather Service.

Strong winds are accompanying the cold temperatures arriving Thursday and Friday. Forecasters said this could result in wind chills of -50 degrees. The entire state is currently under a wind chill warning.

The winds may also lead to blowing snow and limited visibility. Some areas in the eastern part of the state are receiving another round of snow Wednesday, though the NWS lowed its forecast for snowfall accumulation to only an inch or two in most places. Still, existing snow from last week's snow could contribute to visibility issues.

NWS meteorologist Jen Hacker said these conditions could put a damper on travel Thursday and Friday. She also advised against spending too much time outside.

"With those kind of wind chills, we’re probably talking the potential for frostbite on any exposed skin in less than five to 10 minutes," Hacker said. "So dress in layers. Keep all exposed skin covered as much as possible and limit your time outside. That’s not only true for people but your pets as well."

Conditions are expected to improve Saturday into Christmas day on Sunday, with highs in the teens set to return by early next week.

Weather resources