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Northern Hills could get more than a foot of snow; rain forecast for Rapid City
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Northern Hills could get more than a foot of snow; rain forecast for Rapid City

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The Northern Black Hills is preparing for the first winter storm of the season, which is expected to bring anywhere between 10 and 17 inches of snow to Lead-Deadwood and several inches of rain in Rapid City on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to the National Weather Service in Rapid City, a strong storm system will move from the Rockies into the northern Plains Monday night through Wednesday. It will bring a variety of hazardous weather to northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota, the weather service said.

"Actual snow on the ground will vary greatly depending on temperatures, so a little warmer means less snow," the weather service said in a Monday afternoon bulletin. "Significant liquid-equivalent precipitation amounts of one to two inches or more are likely, especially from the Black Hills into northwest South Dakota."

A winter storm warning has been posted for the Northern Hills from 6 p.m Tuesday until 6 p.m. Wednesday for the expectation of heavy, wet snow. Total snow accumulations of anywhere between five to 19 inches could occur in the Wyoming Black Hills, the Northern Black Hills and the Central Black Hills.

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The National Weather Service said the warned area includes Lead, Deadwood, Brownsville, Cheyenne Crossing, Galena, Nemo, Hill City, Mount Rushmore, Deerfield, Hisega, Mystic, Pactola Reservoir, Rochford, Rockerville, Sundance, Aladdin, Beulah, and Four Corners.

In the plains surrounding the Black Hills, strong winds of 30-40 mph with gusts of 50 mph are likely Wednesday east of the Black Hills. The National Weather Service said strong thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds may occur Tuesday afternoon and evening over far southern South Dakota, the weather service said.

In the Rapid City area and the plains northwest, the National Weather Service is expecting two to three inches of rain through Wednesday, with amounts tapering off to the east and south.

Temperatures will also drop off across the area with Rapid City's daytime highs in the 40s through Thursday and overnight lows flirting with the freezing mark of 32 through Friday.

The biggest impact will be those who are traveling through the Black Hills, the weather service said.

"If you are traveling late [Monday night] through Wednesday from the Black Hills into northeast Wyoming, check later forecasts," the bulletin read. "You may find it too dangerous to travel due to significant amounts of plowable snow and reduced visibilities from wind-blown falling snow."

Contact Nathan Thompson at nathan.thompson@rapidcityjournal.com.

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