A look back at the weather in 2019
RAPID CITY, S.D. — 2019 brought out all the stops weather-wise in western South Dakota.
Bitterly cold and record breaking temperatures spilled across the region. Average temperatures in the month of February ranging from 5 to 14 degrees, most of these numbers anchored down by the cold snap kicking off Super Bowl weekend.
Many of us remember temperatures hovering at or below zero for days, sometimes dropping as low as 30 below.
Two back-to-back blizzards hit in March and April, each with it’s own standout feature. The first, blasting the region with 70 mph wind gusts and the second dumping 1 to 2 feet of snow .
By February Rapid City was already above average for precipitation, but with winter weather holding on through the end of the season, and then some, we hit the tipping point.
As spring came, feet of snow melted and flowed south. Flooding only became more widespread in the coming months.
At the end of May, Grizzly Bear Creek through Keystone was over its banks. Residents were trapped off Old Hill City Road as the road gave way to rushing waters.
Streets either covered with water or washed out in Hermosa, Rapid City, Box Elder, Sturgis and all through the reservation, were not uncommon during the summer.
In August, a single storm popped up over Custer, sitting there for four hours, dumping over 5 inches of rain. Days later, a similar event took place in Oglala Lakota County where nearly 3 inches fell near Sharps Corner, only for a line of storms to sweep through with 70 mph wind gusts hours later.
Numerous tornadoes spawned this year, including a seen-for-miles tornado near Allen. Fortunately no major damage occurred during any of these storms.
By October, winter was back and the exceptionally short summer wasn’t just in our heads.
2019 was the third shortest time period between snows, only 140 days.
Areas around the Black Hills picked up another couple feet of snow between two snow storms in October. These storms earned Rapid City an unwanted title, wettest year on record, breaking the previous full year record set in 1962 of 28.89 inches.
And just as the year started, a bookend blizzard swept through after Thanksgiving, bumping up the totals a little higher.
Now? We finish the year with over 30 inches of accumulated precipitation.