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Weather News and Stories

  • Writer's pictureWeatherSD

Snow? Not This Year!

Temperatures into the 80s and 90s and summer-like thunderstorms like we are seeing this year were not the decision ten years ago in western, South Dakota.


Rapid City, South Dakota Tree Damage
Photo Credit: Pennington County Emergency Management

Back in 2013, a storm system from the Rocky Mountains moved into the plains pushing cold air from Canada into the region. Rain started to fall for much of the day before changing over to snow in the higher elevations of the Black Hills by the evening hours. By October 4th, rain across the plains of western, South Dakota changed over to wet heavy snow and was quickly blown around from 50 to 70mph wind gusts. The strong winds continued into the next morning before the system moved out of the region.


After the blizzard, residents got a chance to check out the damage caused by the storm. Trees and tree branches snapped from the weight of the heavy snow, snow drifts blocked roads, and power lines were found on the ground.


According to the National Weather Service in Rapid City, it took several months to clear the tree debris in the region.


Besides the damage from the storm, the loss to livestock was staggering with cattle not being protected for winter conditions, ranchers being unable to tend to their cattle, and heavy snow causing stress on the animals. During this time of year, the cattle have not grown their thick winter coat which caused cattle to become hypothermic after being soaked by the rain and then chilled by the blizzard conditions.


This blizzard set records for the month of October and became known as the "Cattlemen's Blizzard."


Snowfall Reports (From the National Weather Service):

Bear Ridge (8 W Spearfish) 58.0"

Lead 55.0"

Pactola 44.6"

Spearfish 36.0"

Piedmont 35.0"

Belle Fourche 32.0"

Hill City 32.0"

Plainview 30.0"

Fort Meade (Sturgis) 29.0"

Oelrichs 28.0"

Elm Springs 25.6"

Oglala 25.0"

Lodgepole 24.0"

Rapid City NWS 23.1"

Lemmon 23.0"

Newell 22.6"

Bison 22.0"

Opal 21.7"

Glad Valley 20.0"

Upton 20.0"

Red Owl 18.0"

Interior 3 NE (Badlands) 17.0"

Ludlow 17.0"


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