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Record-Setting Snow: 126-Year Record Shattered, Snow Set to Continue

11 Sep 2014, 4:23 pm


Snow is a pretty common occurrence in the Upper Midwest, especially in South Dakota’s Black Hills. But, snow in early September — which is technically summer — is far from normal. And the two inches of snow that fell in Rapid City, early Thursday, shattered a record set in 1888 — a time when people traveled by horse-drawn covered wagon and the main mode of cross-country communication was the telegraph.

The original record of seven-tenths of an inch of snow, set on September 13, 1888, was easily surpassed by Thursday’s snowfall.

Even though Rapid City may have set a record, it wasn’t the highest snow fall recorded in the area, that honor went to Custer, S.D. The storm dumped about eight inches on the town.


The system moving through the northern tier of the country also dropped some pretty impressive snowfall in parts of Montana and Wyoming as well.

Here’s a round up of the highest totals by state:


• Story — 14.0″
• Burgess Junction — 12.0″
• Banner — 8.3″
• Cody — 7.0″

South Dakota

• Custer — 8.0″
• Mount Rushmore — 6.0″
• Johnson Siding — 5.0″
• Rapid City — 5.0″


• Polebridge — 7.0″
• Zortman — 6.0″
• Pony — 6.0″
• Lewiston — 5.0″


The snow is likely to continue through the late evening hours for parts of central and southern Wyoming. Accumulations are expected to be relatively light in these area. Late Thursday evening into early Friday morning, a few snow showers could develop in northern Colorado. Little to no accumulation is expected.

Cooler air is another big part of this system as well. Below freezing temperatures are expected for a large swath of the Upper Midwest and the Intermountain West, which is why freeze warnings and frost advisories have been issued for these areas. Lows in the teens aren’t out of the question for parts of northern Wyoming and southwestern Montana. Freezing temperatures could dip as far south as northern Colorado and as far west as central North Dakota.

Friday, the cool air across the northern tier of the country will begin to moderate a bit. That said, you’ll still need a jacket throughout the day. Highs will mainly be in the low to mid-50s, especially in the Great Lakes region. Highs from Oklahoma City to Chicago will be in the upper 50s to mid-60s.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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