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In this file photo from 2015, snow dusts Euclid Ave. near Pierre St. and Sioux Ave. The National Weather Service has issued a severe winter storm warning beginning Friday evening and lasting until Sunday morning. Josh Penrod/Capital Journal 

Forecasts predict that several counties in central South Dakota, including Hughes and Stanley Counties, will get hit with winter storms Friday night into Sunday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, Hughes, Stanley, Jones, Lyman and Buffalo Counties are under a winter storm watch from Friday at 6 p.m. to Sunday at 6 a.m. The service states that anywhere from five to nine inches is possible.

The expected storm has led to the cancellation of certain events, with other cancellations possible depending on the actual severity of the storm.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association (SDHSAA) announced that the State Oral Interpretation Festival is being postponed, due to the possibility of travel becoming dangerous. The festival was scheduled to take place on Friday in Watertown.

Stanley County School District Athletic Director Kelcy Nash also told the Capital Journal that a decision on whether or not to cancel the wrestling tournament scheduled for Saturday will be made by Friday at 1 p.m.

Aaron Dorn, a forecast expert for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Aberdeen, said that models are predicting less than ideal road conditions in central South Dakota by Friday evening.

“It’s expected that the roads are going to be icy by Friday night,” Dorn said, adding that depending on the air temperature at the time, the precipitation could be freezing rain or snow. “If not Friday night, (the roads) will be snowpacked by Saturday.”

Dorn said that the freezing rain could mix with snow during the storm. Winds are expected to be high this weekend in the area as well, he added. Accuweather currently forecasts that wind speeds in Pierre could gust as high as 20 miles per hour this weekend.

Dorn explained that the snowfall coupled with strong winds will cause poor visibility. He encourages individuals to monitor local forecasts throughout the weekend, or whenever the storm settles.

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