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December 12, 1968:

An intense blizzard visited most of South Dakota and Minnesota on the 12th and 13th of December. The storm began in the western part of South Dakota on the morning of the 12th, then spread into the eastern part of the state and into west central Minnesota by that afternoon, where it continued into the morning of the 13th. Snow was preceded by freezing rain, and in west central Minnesota, with thunder and lightning as well. Winds of over 50 mph caused blowing and drifting snow, which occasionally reduced visibilities to near zero. Gusts reached 70 mph in many places. Temperatures falling to near zero during the day also resulted in dangerously low wind chills, particularly in Minnesota. The eastern half of South Dakota into west central Minnesota experienced the most severe blizzard conditions. Many schools were closed, and most other activities were greatly curtailed. Automobile accidents were numerous across the area. Numerous utility lines were downed, and power and telephone outages were numerous due to the high winds. Power outages from less than an hour up to 12 hours were common across Minnesota. Snowfall ranged from around one inch in western South Dakota, to five inches in eastern South Dakota, to five to ten inches in west central Minnesota. One death in South Dakota was attributed to the storm when a man died of exposure to the cold near Allen in southwest South Dakota. In Minnesota, one man was found frozen to death near his car after it had run into the ditch several miles northwest of Boyd in Lac Qui Parle County. Another man was killed by a train when his car became stalled on a railroad crossing at Hancock. 5 inches of snow fell at Watertown, Sisseton, and Webster with 6 inches at Clear Lake.


Record Highs: Record Lows:
Aberdeen: 54 (1924) Aberdeen: -28 (1893)
Kennebec: 62 (1939) Kennebec: -25 (1932)
Mobridge: 53 (1957) Mobridge: -26 (1917)
Pierre: 58 (1939) Pierre: -14 (2000)
Sisseton: 51 (1998) Sisseton: -19 (1903)
Timber Lake: 53 (1957) Timber Lake: -22 (1932)
Watertown: 57 (1913) Watertown: -24 (1932)
Wheaton: 53 (1998) Wheaton: -21 (2000)

Record Precipitation: Record Snowfall:
Aberdeen: 0.11" (1968) Aberdeen: 2.0" (1926)
Kennebec: 0.40" (1902) Kennebec: 5.0" (1902)
Mobridge: 0.11" (1968) Mobridge: 1.8" (1968)
Pierre: 0.48" (1902) Pierre: 6.3" (1902)
Sisseton: 0.25" (1995) Sisseton: 2.5" (1983)
Timber Lake: 0.15" (1926) Timber Lake: 3.0" (1968)
Watertown: 0.46" (1968) Watertown: 4.0" (1968)
Wheaton: 0.39" (1937) Wheaton: 2.3" (1983)


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