This Day in National/World Weather History ...
 21 September 1588 → After an unsuccessful battle with the English fleet, the Spanish Armada encountered strong storms and high winds off the coast of Ireland on its way back to Spain. 26 ships are believed to have been lost. The remaining ships limped back to Spain defeated and demoralized, ending the reign of the once unbeatable Spanish Armada.
 21 September 1894 → A huge tornado outbreak swept from Iowa through Minnesota to Wisconsin, with an unusual number of extremely violent tornadoes. The tornado that rampaged through Kossuth County, MN, was likely an F5 as homes and farms were wiped clean from the earth.
 21 September 1909 → A category 3 hurricane crossed the Gulf of Mexico and came ashore in southern Louisiana. The storm inflicted 120 mph winds on southeast Louisiana and took its storm surge 2 miles inland. There were about 371 fatalities despite the Weather Bureau having issued its first warnings for the storm three days earlier.
 21 September 1938 → The New England Hurricane was one of the most destructive and powerful storms ever to strike southern New England. The storm roared ashore over Long Island, NY at nearly 60 mph at the time of high tide. This created a deadly tidal surge, which submerged downtown Providence, RI under 20 feet of water. Hurricane force winds were felt throughout New England, with a gust to 186 mph at the Blue Hill Observatory in Milton, MA. The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 was responsible for over 500 deaths.

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December 24, 1973:

Snow ranging from four to nine inches fell over most of the eastern third of South Dakota into west central Minnesota on the 14th, causing hazardous driving conditions.

December 24, 1985:

Snow fell over western South Dakota on December 23, with the greatest amounts in the northern Black Hills. Strong winds gusting to 50-60 mph developed over the western part of the state on the evening of December 23rd and continued into the morning of the 24th, with gusts to above 40 mph in the east. The winds caused ground blizzard conditions in the northern and central sections of South Dakota, and many vehicles were reported in ditches. Many people were stranded for a time in Martin in Bennett County. Several roads were completely blocked during this time, such as Highway 248 near Murdo in Jones County.

December 24, 1992:

A deep area of low pressure traveled across the United States/Canada border, dragging a cold front southward across South Dakota and Minnesota by Christmas Day. Southerly winds gusted up to 50 mph over western Minnesota on the 23rd in advance of the storm, causing ground blizzard conditions. As the arctic cold front swept across the area, temperatures tumbled from the 20s and 30s to well below zero by Christmas morning. Wind gusts were up to 50 mph behind the front, causing ground blizzard conditions and wind chill readings from 40 to 60 degrees below zero. A church that was under construction in Litchfield in Meeker County, Minnesota was destroyed by strong winds. Many motorists were stranded on Christmas Eve and spent the night at area homes and motels. Interstate 94 from Alexandria to Moorhead, MN was closed for nearly eight hours. High winds gusted up to 55 mph in the Watertown, SD area, causing a steel frame building under construction to collapse sometime between 9 and 10 pm CST.

December 24, 2009:

A broad upper level low pressure area over the Upper Midwest associated with an intense surface low pressure area brought widespread heavy snow along with blizzard conditions to central and northeast South Dakota as well as west central Minnesota. The storm was a slow mover and produced several rounds of snow over a three-day period. Total snowfall amounts were from 7 to as much as 25 inches. The heavy snow combined with winds of 25 to 40 mph with gusts to 50 mph brought widespread blowing and drifting snow with visibilities frequently less than a quarter of a mile. This blizzard ranked in the top three for South Dakota snowfall with a state average of 15.4 inches. Most of the state received 10 inches of snowfall or more with many locations with 20 inches or more. Pollock in north central South Dakota set an all time high three-day snowfall total with 17 inches. Prior to the onset of the storm, the Governor declared a state of emergency for South Dakota. Large portions of both Interstates 29 and 90 across South Dakota were closed late on Thursday, December 24th. Both Interstates were closed through Christmas Day and into Saturday, December 26th. There were some stranded holiday travelers due to the road closings along with a few rescues. Most roads were reopened by Sunday morning, December 27th. There were also several vehicle accidents with nothing serious. Several airports were also closed throughout the storm along with a few spotty power outages occurring in Lyman county in central South Dakota. Total snowfall amounts over the three-day period predominantly ranged from 1 to 2 feet. Snowfall amounts with a foot or more included; 12 inches at Mobridge, Eureka, Waubay, and Eagle Butte; 13 inches at Highmore and Miller; 14 inches at Castlewood, Summit, Watertown, Pierre, and Ree Heights; 15 inches at Groton, Gettysburg, Webster, Wilmot, Hayti, and McLaughlin; 16 inches at McIntosh, east of Hayes and east of Hosmer; 17 inches at Timber Lake, Britton, and Pollock; 18 inches near Victor; 20 inches near Keldron; 22 inches at Murdo; 23 inches at Sisseton and 25 inches at Kennebec. In west central Minnesota Wheaton received 11 inches, Browns Valley received 15 inches with 16 inches at Ortonville and Artichoke Lake.

Record Highs: Record Lows:
Aberdeen: 56 (1907) Aberdeen: -24 (1996)
Kennebec: 57 (1992) Kennebec: -23 (1920)
Mobridge: 50 (1999) Mobridge: -26 (1983)
Pierre: 54 (1999) Pierre: -19 (2000)
Sisseton: 50 (1994) Sisseton: -25 (1983)
Timber Lake: 48 (2005) Timber Lake: -28 (1983)
Watertown: 44 (1963) Watertown: -28 (1983)
Wheaton: 48 (1922) Wheaton: -26 (1983)

Record Precipitation: Record Snowfall:
Aberdeen: 0.30" (1933) Aberdeen: 4.8" (1937)
Kennebec: 0.45" (1982) Kennebec: 6.0" (1982)
Mobridge: 0.27" (1949) Mobridge: 2.7" (1949)
Pierre: 0.34" (1925) Pierre: 3.2" (1948)
Sisseton: 0.34" (2009) Sisseton: 4.1" (2009)
Timber Lake: 0.20" (1932) Timber Lake: 2.0" (1949)
Watertown: 0.40" (1973) Watertown: 6.0" (1931)
Wheaton: 0.60" (1996) Wheaton: 6.0" (1996) is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.