Weather Forecast


March Mania

Pierre sees record snow, cold in weekend blizzard

Richard Neill blasts through the windrow left by the city plow trucks on the sidewalk near Jefferson Elementary in Pierre, S.D., on Saturday, April 14. (Dave Askins / Pierre Capital Journal)

PIERRE, S.D. — Pierre experienced record snow and cold Saturday as a late-season blizzard roared over South Dakota, dropping as much as 20 inches of snow on some sites, including Winner.

The record 8 inches of snow that fell on Pierre is recorded by the National Weather Service office in Aberdeen as data for Friday, April 13, besting the previous record for April 13 of 4.1 inches set in 1986.

But from observation and from information from Renee Wise of the weather service, about 7 inches of that snow fell after midnight Friday, in the early dark hours of Saturday, April 14, leaving Pierre and Fort Pierre deep in snow by daybreak.

The volunteer cooperative observer who measures snowfall in Pierre and reports it to the weather service does it about 7 a.m. whenever there has been a snowfall, Wise said. So his 24-hour reporting period goes in as Friday for the snow he measured early Saturday morning, Wise said.

It happened this time that about all the snow fell on Saturday, a few hours before 7 a.m.

City crews driving trucks with snowplows and trucks hauling snow and private contractors with big loaders were clearing roads by daylight Saturday.

The snow removal was helped by the fact the temperature rose to a high of 34 degrees by 3:56 p.m. on a sunny Saturday, according to the weather service.

But by 11:01 p.m., Saturday, the temperature in Pierre fell to 17 degrees, tying the record for April 14 set in 1986.

The normal temperature for April 14 in Pierre — the average set from 1981-2010 — is a high of 59 degrees and a low of 34.

A year ago, the high temperature in Pierre on April 14 was 77 degrees; the low was 48.

Temperature is recorded automatically by the weather service at the Pierre Regional Airport.

State weather records go back to 1892

The blizzard left serious snow amounts across the state and blowing snow was still causing problems in eastern South Dakota early Sunday morning.

Snowfall across the state was led by 20 inches that fell by noon Saturday about 10 miles south-southwest of Okreek on the Rosebud Indian Reservation and 20 inches reported by 2 p.m., Saturday about two miles east-southeast of Winner.

Canby and Huron reported 19 inches, Kennebec 16.5 inches, northeast of Martin called in 16 inches and Chamberlain received 14 inches, according to some of the listings the weather service reported. Other amounts: Presho-11.5 inches; 7 miles northeast of Vivian - 11 inches; Miller - 11 inches.

Ten inches was reported six miles east of Hayes and at Watertown and Redfield; 9.7 inches in Rapid City; 9.5 inches 12 miles north of Highmore; 9 inches at Philip.