Signs of early October blizzard melting away in South Dakota

It’s been about 5 days since the epic early October blizzard that hit the Dakotas last weekend. Wind gusted of up to 70 mph and heavy snow made travel impossible. Some locations picked up a whopping 4 feet of snow. The pictures that came out of this part of the country were incredible like this one above. Anne Zollinger captured this photo of snow covered cars in Wright, Wyoming.


Above is a look at the snow depth following the storm on October 5th. A large chunk of Western South Dakota had at least over a foot of snow if not more. The snow would melt quickly though thanks to warmer temperatures and the fact that this blizzard happened early in the season. In Rapid City, the snow depth decreased from 17” on the 5th down to 8” on the 6th. By the 7th, you can see the snow depth had decreased exponentially in South Dakota. In Rapid City, the snow depth was down to only 3”. By this point the high temperature had hit 60 degrees.


Then another two days later you can see there are only a few pockets of snow left in parts of the Dakotas and Wyoming.


This rapid snow melt could mean problems over the next couple of days. Another strong storm system will move up through this area Thursday into Friday producing strong winds and heavy rain. At least there’s no snow in the forecast but up to 2” of rain is possible and winds will once again be very gusty up to 60 mph. Even some severe weather will be possible on Thursday. The graphic below shows the National Weather Service has already put out Flood Watches for the areas that were hit hardest by the blizzard. The combination of the snow melting over the past few days and additional precipitation could mean for some flooding. This will be a part of the country to watch in the couple days as this storm system moves through.

For us this storm system will largely miss us. We may see a brief shower Friday evening or Friday night, but that’s about it besides a cool down for the weekend. However, next week it looks more likely that a larger storm system will bring some active weather and possibly heavy rains to Western Wisconsin. We’ll be watching that storm system closely.

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