A look back at the February 20-23 snow storm: See how much snow you got!

RAPID CITY, S.D. – On February 20, a strong winter storm swept through the area. This storm brought widespread significant snow accumulations followed by record-breaking cold with wind.

Lets take a look back at the storm.

To start things off, we’ll take a look back at the radar throughout the storm. Many areas saw precipitation start off as rain due to the warm surface temperatures. This created many issues as temperatures dropped below freezing, creating a layer of ice below all of the snow that was on its way.

By 10 pm on February 20, all of the rain had transitioned to snow. While we didn’t see much accumulation at the start, things were about to get worse. With a slow start to the storm, it was looking as if it wouldn’t be that bad.

By the morning of February 21, easterly winds kicked in, causing significant accumulation to begin for the eastern foothills. The upslope winds enhanced snowfall by squeezing out the moisture in the air as it ascended up the eastern side of the Black Hills.

The heaviest snow fell during the evening on February 21 and gradually decreased into the overnight hours. However, this wasn’t the end of our issues.

Weather radar video from the winter storm on February 21

Behind the storm was a cold artic air mass. This drove snow accumulations up as temperatures dropped.

By the morning of Thursday, February 23, this is what temperatures looked like around the area: Mint 2023 02 23

Several minimum temperature records were broken, including in Rapid City. Strong winds only made things worse, causing the snow to drift and blow over the roads. Wind chills ranging from -25 to -45 degrees were present around most of the region.

After the storm died down and the coldest air moved out of the area, we could finally start to get an idea of exactly how much snow fell. Here’s a map from the Rapid City National Weather Service of all of the snow reports after the storm:

Iem Snowfall Map3

Thanks to the public, there was a lot of data to work off of with a total of 1,927 snow reports!

Here are some of the highest snow totals from this storm:

Snow Reports

Rapid City also broke its record for one-day snowfall on Wednesday, February 21 with 7.2 inches!

While this storm may not have exactly matched the intensity of the December 2022 blizzards, there were more widespread impacts from either of those storms. The December 2022 blizzards saw significantly higher impacts for a smaller area, but this storm had more of an impact over a larger area.

Storms like this don’t come around to often, especially in February where we typically don’t see too much snow. March is actually the month where we see the most!

Categories: Local News, Weather Daily