The National Weather Service has affirmed what many area farmers have perceived during the entire 2019 growing season: South Dakota received record setting moisture in 2019.
State Climatologist Laura Edwards related in a December 10 tweet that from January 1 to November 30, South Dakota had received 30.38” of snow, breaking the 27.97” record set in 1915.
Forecasting on Thursday morning, December 26, the NWS predicted that heavy snow and strong winds were expected in the region starting Friday, with heaviest snow and strongest winds Saturday night through Sunday night. Snowfall of at least eight inches and as many as twelve was anticipated.
On Friday afternoon, the NWS added possible blizzard conditions to the forecast, ‘especially between the Missouri and James Rivers, as winds gust over 40 mph.’ The forecast additionally warned that ‘roads will likely become snow covered and slippery.’
Noting that Sully County had received nine inches of snow as of 9:30 p.m. Saturday night, the forecast continued, ‘expect the main round of snow to start overnight into Sunday.’
As predicted, snow intensified Saturday night and tapered by Sunday night. Onida city crews plowed the streets after the first wave of precipitation on Saturday, and the warning of the plows’ backup beacons ensued starting at 4:00 a.m. Monday morning.
With no travel advised on many South Dakota roads and blowing snow most of Monday morning, South Dakota Governor Kristie Noem ordered a 1:00 p.m. local time Monday opening for ‘state government executive branch offices in counties impacted by this past weekend’s winter storm.’
The news bulletin further advised, ‘State Department of Transportation snow plow crews continue to work on clearing highways.’