PIERRE, S.D. – A major winter storm is forecast to bring heavy snow and strong winds across much of South Dakota that  will hamper weekend travel from Thursday evening to Sunday.

The National Weather Service said the storm will begin Thursday evening with snow in western South Dakota and move east. Rain and freezing rain will precede the heavy snow in central, north central and northeastern parts of the state.

Along with the heavy, wet snow, winds from 15-40 mph and gusts up to 55 mph will create blizzard conditions and hazardous travel across much of the state Friday and into Saturday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for parts of the northwest, southwest and Black Hills area and a blizzard warning for the rest of the state from Rapid City to Minnesota.

Conditions will deteriorate rapidly overnight and throughout the day on Friday as the storm pushes east. People with travel plans should travel today (Thursday) and plan to stay put until the storm has passed.

“This is a nasty winter storm that is going to hamper, if not cripple, travel through much of the state,’’ says Darin Bergquist, Secretary of Transportation. “There is a high probability that at least some portions of the interstate will be closed during this time.”

Travelers are reminded that Department of Transportation crews will plow until conditions allow and with the significant forecasted snow totals and high winds, it will take some time for them to get roads clear and open again. If an interstate is closed, do not assume other highways are in any better condition.

People who must travel are strongly encouraged to visit, call 511 or download the SDDOT 511 app to check the latest road conditions and travel advisories before heading out.

The state Departments of Public Safety and Transportation remind travelers to take the following safety precautions:

  • Travel during the day and use highly traveled roads and highways when possible.
  • If the interstate is closed, secondary roads are not going to be any better and may be worse.
  • Keep family and friends informed of your travel schedule and route.
  • If you travel, wear a seatbelt. Keep a winter weather survival kit in your car and a charged cell phone with location turned on in your car, but don’t rely on the phone to get you out of trouble.
  • If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.
  • Consider stocking food and water if you are in a remote area of the state.
  • Take care of livestock and outdoor animals ahead of the storm.

         Be flexible and cancel travel plans if weather conditions warrant.



PIERRE, S.D. – Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 3:15 p.m – Officials with the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety have opened the remaining closed portion of Interstate 90 from Murdo to Mitchell.

This completely opens I-90, I-29 was reopened earlier this morning.

Officials want to strongly caution motorists that even though I-90 and I-29 are open and passable, many areas of both highways are extremely icy and speeds will be greatly reduced. Drivers are encouraged to only travel if absolutely necessary, especially after dark.

While there are no road closures, there are still some No Travel Advisories posted in a few areas where visibility is limited and roads are icy, including parts of I-90.

If you must travel, slow down, keep the cruise control off, leave extra space between vehicles, wear your seat belt, be prepared with a winter emergency kit, a charged cell phone and allow extra time to reach your destination.

Officials are seeing crashes where drivers are underestimating and overdriving road conditions.

Motorists are encouraged to check conditions at or by calling 511 before travelling.

STATE OFFICIALS OPENING I-29 —- I-90 REMAINS CLOSED – Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 9:30 a.m.


PIERRE, S.D. – Officials with the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety have opened Interstate 29, north and southbound, from North Dakota to Iowa.

I-29 was closed border to border Monday (3/5) night at 6:30 p.m.

Interstate 90 remains closed from Murdo to Sioux Falls, both east and westbound.

Officials want to strongly caution motorists that even though I-29 is open and passable, the highway is extremely icy and speeds will be greatly reduced. Drivers are encouraged to only travel if absolutely necessary.

If you must travel, slow down, keep the cruise control off, leave extra space between vehicles, wear your seat belt, be prepared with a winter emergency kit, a charged cell phone and allow extra time to reach your destination.

Officials are seeing crashes this morning where drivers are underestimating and overdriving road conditions.

Snow is beginning to taper off, but winds will remain strong throughout the afternoon making safe travel challenging throughout the day and into the evening.

Motorists are encouraged to check conditions at or by calling 511 before travelling today.


State Officials Closing I-90 Mitchell to Sioux Falls – I-29 Closed from the North Dakota Border to Sioux City

PIERRE, S.D. – March 5, 2018 – Officials with the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety are closing Interstate 90 from Mitchell to Sioux Falls (east and westbound) effective immediately – Monday, March 5.

Interstate 29 will close from the North Dakota border to the Iowa border (north and southbound) at 6:30 p.m. CST tonight.

No Travel Advisories are posted on many highways as roadways are snow-packed and icy. Heavy snow and strong winds gusting upwards of 50 mph, are making safe travel nearly impossible on the Interstate and most highways in eastern South Dakota.

Winter maintenance will be suspended in the early evening hours and travel will not be advised during the overnight hours.

The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning until 6 p.m. CST, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, for several counties in northwestern, north central and central South Dakota. Winter weather warnings and advisories are in place for other areas of the state.

Motorists are encouraged to check conditions at or by calling 511 before travelling Monday or Tuesday.

I-29 Closed From Tea To The Iowa Border Motorists Asked to Heed No Travel Advisories


PIERRE, S.D. – Officials with the South Dakota Departments of Transportation and Public Safety are closing the north and southbound lanes of Interstate 29 from the Tea Exit 73 to the Iowa border.

Numerous jackknifed and stuck vehicles, heavy snow and strong winds are making travel through the corridor impossible.

Officials are closing at the Tea Exit as conditions south of there are deteriorating rapidly and there is no place for motorists to get off the Interstate to seek shelter.

No Travel Advisories are also posted for much of the entire southeast area of the state.

Based on information from the National Weather Service, conditions are expected to worsen as the storm continues to hang around over the area. Additional snowfall and continued strong winds are likely to make travel hazardous for the rest of today and possibly overnight.

“We understand people want to be on the roads and about their business, but we ask for patience while the storm moves through this area of the state,’’ said Greg Fuller, director of operations. “Traveling in these hazardous conditions puts your life and the lives of first responders in danger.”

Motorists are being asked to postpone travel plans in this area until Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Get the most up-to-date information on road conditions at or by dialing 5-1-1 before heading out. You can also download the SDDOT 511 app from iTunes or the Google Play store.

State DPS/DOT Officials Urge Safe Driving As Snowstorm Arrives in Eastern South Dakota  

December 4, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – This year’s first snowstorm is expected to reach eastern South Dakota this afternoon just in time for the commute home, and South Dakota state Public Safety and Transportation officials are encouraging motorists to be extra cautious.

The fast-moving storm has featured high winds, low visibility, freezing rain and snow. Several weather-related vehicle crashes and semi rollovers have been reported in other parts of the state. Drivers of high-profile vehicles should use extra caution since sustained winds of 25-40 mph have been reported in other areas with gusts of more than 50 mph.

Drivers should stay updated on the latest forecasts, travel advisories and road conditions before leaving late this afternoon or early evening. The Department of Transportation says motorists can get the most up-to-date information on road conditions, downloading the SDDOT511 app or by calling 5-1-1. DOT trucks and snowplows also will be out as needed.

Officials of the Department of Public Safety and the Highway Patrol also encourage drivers in the weather-impacted area to take their time. Motorists are urged to slow down, use their headlights, don’t get distracted and wear their seatbelts. It is also encouraged that drivers should let someone know when they are leaving, their route and when they should reach their destination.

Drivers who have a longer trip should make sure they have a full tank of fuel and also a pack a winter safety kit which should include items such as a cell phone with fully charged batteries, windshield scraper and brush and non-perishable food such as granola bars and peanuts.

The storm is expected to leave the state later tonight or early Tuesday morning.

The National Weather Service to Observe South Dakota’s Annual Winter Weather Preparedness Day Wednesday, October 25


October 15, 2017
US National Weather Service

Time to Prepare for Winter Weather

Rapid City, SD – As the winter season approaches, the National Weather Service encourages people to prepare for extreme winter conditions by taking the following steps:

– Check your vehicle’s battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer, ignition, thermostat, and tires.

– Even if you do not make long trips, put a winter survival kit in each vehicle–you may need it if your car breaks down or you have an accident.  It should contain a windshield scraper, jumper cables, tool kit, tow chain or rope, tire chains, bag of sand or cat litter, shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, warm boots, coat, hat, gloves, and a blanket.  For longer trips; add extra clothes, sleeping bags, a portable radio, high-calorie nonperishable food, matches and candles, and large coffee cans for sanitary purposes or burning candles.

– Keep an adequate supply of fuel for your home or get an alternative heating source.  Learn how to operate stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters safely and have proper ventilation to use them.

– Add insulation to your home; caulk and weather-strip doors and window sills; install storm windows or cover windows with plastic.

– Stock emergency supplies at home; such as flashlights, candles, matches, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, and a first-aid kit.

– Monitor Internet web sites, NOAA Weather Radio, or local radio or television stations for forecasts and information about impending storms.

     Know the terms used to describe hazardous winter weather and what actions to take for each situation.

     A WINTER STORM WATCH means a dangerous winter storm is possible.  WATCHES are issued to give people time to prepare for hazardous conditions before they develop.  When a WATCH is in effect:

– Postpone trips or take a different route.  Put a survival kit in your vehicle.  Tell someone your schedule and route; call them when you arrive at your destination.  If possible, travel in daylight and use major highways.  Keep your fuel tank as full as possible to avoid ice in the tank and lines.

– At home; have high energy food or food that requires no cooking, one gallon of water per day for each person, and enough fuel for the duration of the storm.  Don’t forget special items for your family such as prescription medicine, baby formula and diapers, and pet food!

– Consider having elderly, ill, or oxygen-dependent family, friends, and neighbors who live in rural areas stay someplace where heat and electric power are available.


WINTER STORM AND BLIZZARD WARNINGS mean a dangerous storm will occur.

– Do not travel.  You are safer to stay where you are rather than risk getting stranded in a ditch.

– If you have no heat, close off unneeded rooms and wear extra clothes.

– Do not operate power generators indoors.

WIND CHILL WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES stress the increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia during cold and windy conditions.

– Stay inside as much as possible.  If you go outdoors; wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing and water-repellent outer garments. Cover all parts of your body; especially your head, face, and hands.

– When working outdoors, do not overexert yourself.  Remove damp clothing as soon as possible to avoid becoming chilled.

     Additional information on preparing for winter weather is available from your county emergency management office, American Red Cross, or National Weather Service at ter/index.shtml

A Bright Forecast By Sen. John Thune

A Bright Forecast

By Sen. John Thune 

If you live in South Dakota, you know how quickly the weather can change. One minute it’s warm and sunny, and in the blink of an eye, you’re in the middle of a torrential downpour. From harsh winters to hot summers, we get a little of everything. And as folks in some parts of South Dakota recently discovered, it doesn’t matter what the calendar says, winter will end when it’s good and ready.

Accurately forecasted weather is important for a lot of reasons. There’s the obvious, like whether or not you’ll need an umbrella before you head to work. There’s the not-so-obvious, like the fact that South Dakota farmers depend on long-term weather forecasts to help determine when they’ll need to plant crops each spring. Perhaps most importantly, though, when it comes to extreme weather, like severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, timely and accurate weather forecasts can help save lives.

The National Weather Service (NWS) recently held a statewide tornado drill in South Dakota, so no matter what it looked like outside, most folks throughout the state probably heard the ominous howl of local tornado sirens. While these sirens are integral tools that help keep people safe, consumers can now have severe weather alerts sent directly to mobile devices, like cell phones or even smart watches – an idea hardly imaginable when I was a kid.

I’ve seen South Dakota weather – the good, the bad, and the ugly – which is why I’ve spent months working with a bipartisan group of senators to pass sweeping weather research and forecasting legislation, which was recently signed into law. The new law encompasses numerous ideas authored by Republicans and Democrats from both the House and Senate. A writer for the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang called these reforms, collectively, “the first major piece of weather legislation adopted since the 1990s.”

I authored several provisions of the new law, including one that will improve seasonal and subseasonal forecasts, which will help farmers make more informed decisions about when it’s the most opportune time to plant certain crops. I also authored a provision that will require the NWS to designate at least one warning coordination meteorologist at each of the 122 weather forecasting offices throughout the country. These NWS employees will collaborate with local officials, including the media, to increase the usefulness of emergency weather communication.

The new law also takes several meaningful steps toward improving tornado forecasting and accuracy. It tasks the NWS with improving its watches and warning system, which would make these alerts easier to understand and hopefully give individuals additional time to take necessary safety steps. The law will also require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to study and identify radar coverage gaps to help determine ways to better protect communities throughout the country.

There are few issues that affect every single American. Weather is one of them. So, it’s no coincidence that our bill was one of the first to make it to the president’s desk this year. It’s a good, common-sense law and one that will hopefully have a positive and lasting effect on the American people for years to come.



National Weather Service Rapid City SD
148 PM MST Tue Feb 7 2017

...Compact weather system to cross the area tonight...

.A compact weather system will cross northeast Wyoming and mainly
southern portions of South Dakota tonight bringing accumulating
snow. Light snow will increase in intensity across northeast
Wyoming late this afternoon, and spread into southern South Dakota
this evening. Snowfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected, with
3 to 6 inches possible across the central and southern Black
Hills. Snow will diminish early Wednesday morning across the Black
Hills area, and by late morning across south central South Dakota.

Northern Black Hills-Northern Foot Hills-Rapid City-
Southern Foot Hills-Central Black Hills-Southern Black Hills-
Custer Co Plains-Pennington Co Plains-Fall River-Oglala Lakota-
Sturgis/Piedmont Foot Hills-Hermosa Foot Hills-
Wyoming Black Hills-
Including the cities of Lead, Deadwood, Spearfish, Rapid City,
Edgemont, Hot Springs, Hill City, Mt Rushmore, Custer, Folsom,
Wall, Ardmore, Oelrichs, Pine Ridge, Oglala, Kyle, Sturgis,
Hermosa, Four Corners, and Sundance
148 PM MST Tue Feb 7 2017


The National Weather Service in Rapid City has issued a Winter
Weather Advisory for Snow, which is in effect from 6 PM this
evening to 6 AM MST Wednesday.

* TIMING...Snow will begin late this afternoon and diminish early
  Wednesday morning.

* MAIN IMPACT...Snowfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected,
  with 3 to 6 inches expected across the central and southern
  Black Hills.

* OTHER IMPACTS...Snowfall will be moderate to heavy at times this
  evening, reducing visibilities to less than a mile.


A winter weather advisory for snow means snow accumulation will
create hazardous conditions. Use caution when traveling.




Hazardous Weather Outlook

Hazardous Weather Outlook
National Weather Service Rapid City SD
259 PM MST Tue Feb 7 2017

Northern Black Hills-Northern Foot Hills-Rapid City-
Southern Foot Hills-Central Black Hills-Southern Black Hills-
Custer Co Plains-Pennington Co Plains-Fall River-Oglala Lakota-
Jackson-Bennett-Mellette-Todd-Tripp-Sturgis/Piedmont Foot Hills-
Southern Meade Co Plains-Hermosa Foot Hills-Wyoming Black Hills-
259 PM MST Tue Feb 7 2017 /359 PM CST Tue Feb 7 2017/

This Hazardous weather outlook is for portions of south central
South Dakota...the Black Hills of South Dakota...western South
Dakota...AND the black hills of Wyoming.


Light snow will redevelop late this afternoon and persist
overnight. 3 to 6 inches is expected. Slick roads will develop.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Wednesday through Monday

Snow will diminish quickly Wednesday morning.


Spotter activation will not be needed today.


Stay tuned to NOAA weather radio for further updates...or check
our web site at


Drivers Cautioned About Difficult Travel Overnight

January 27, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – State officials are advising drivers that strong winds and blowing snow are creating difficult travel conditions across the state this evening.

The warmer temperatures and strong winds, combined with the heavy snow received earlier this week, have created a condition called thaw/drift/stick on the roadways. Snow and ice are melting making the pavement wet, which causes the snow blowing across to stick and re-freeze, thus creating an icy surface..

Motorists are asked to slow down, turn off the cruise control and be prepared for icy conditions, blowing and drifting snow this evening and during the overnight hours into tomorrow.

For the most up-to-date information on road conditions, visit or by call 5-1-1 before heading out.