Serious storm turning Sioux Falls from beauty to winter beast

Rain, freezing rain, snow, sleet and strong winds expected over next few days.

The beautiful scenes from 8 inches of snow and no wind in Sioux Falls will be dashed by rain, freezing rain and 40 mph gust over the next few days.
Adam Thury / Sioux Falls Live

A weekend of winter wonderland in Sioux Falls is morphing into the week of winter woe.

The weather will probably dominate every casual discussion this week as a major storm blows into town this afternoon and promises to change travel and recreation plans through at least Thursday.

Rain, freezing rain, drizzle, snow, fog and mixed up with high winds.

There’s potential for street flooding as up to an inch of rain is expected starting tonight.

Then things will freeze.


There’s not a ton of snow expected — about an inch in total — but with the rain and freezing rain transportation could be treacherous.

And watch out above. Those once beautiful clusters of snow hanging on the tree boughs all weekend are sure to become airborne when the winds hit 40 mph.

Good times.

In the unique vernacular of the National Weather Service, this is what passes for good news.

“By the evening hours, the cyclone will begin to occlude and dry air will begin to get mixed into the center of the low thus decreasing QPF amounts into Wednesday morning, and also decreasing wind speeds.”

Just in case you’re wondering, QPF is short for Quantitative Precipitation Forecast, which means how much rain or snow they think will fall.

And then things get less certain, but certainly cold.

“Deterministic and ensemble guidance shows chances for snow continuing into at least Friday morning as the upper level low continues to sit over the northern plains, with agreement not great on when it will finally depart off to our east. Once it does however, much cooler air is expected throughout the weekend with daytime highs by Monday expected to be in the single digits.”


Get the latest — in more English-friendly form — from the Storm Tracker Team on

Patrick Lalley is the engagement editor and reporter for Sioux Falls Live. Reach him at
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