South Dakota Sees Two Feet of Snow and Tornadoes in the Same Day
The state slogan "Land of Infinite Variety" was very on the nose Wednesday in South Dakota. More than we would even want it to be.
In one day, October 13, 2021, on opposite ends of the state, the weather compromised between the worst of summer and winter in the middle of autumn.
The northern Black Hills got smoked by heavy snow. By the time it was all over there were unofficial reports near Spearfish of around a foot of snow, while near Deadwood other reports doubled that total. Other areas of the Black Hills received significant snow, between two and seven inches, but not the piles that fill in the north.
Meanwhile, 423 miles east of Spearfish, the National Weather Service in Aberdeen issued a tornado warning at 3:38 pm for Roberts and Marshall Counties. A radar indicated tornado was located nine miles north of Sisseton.
As weird as this is, it isn't even close to the weirdest weather we have ever seen in South Dakota.
On January 22, 1943, weird winds and temperature inversions came together to cause temperatures in the Black Hills to become incredibly erratic. While the temperature in Lead was 52, just two miles away and only 600 lower in elevation, Deadwood was sitting at -16! That's a difference of 68 degrees.
In Rapid City, it was just as weird. At around 9:30 am the temperature was 5. A few minutes later it was 54. An hour later it dropped down to 11. Just before 11:00 am it had gone back up to 55. Less than an hour later it was 10, then 34, then 16. Before 1:00 pm the temperature stabilized at 56. But between 4:00 pm and 5:30 pm, it dropped to 5, where it had been in the morning.
Needless to say, there have been countless other weather anomalies in the Mount Rushmore State. Without a doubt, there will be more.