This Day in National/World Weather History ...
 28 December 1879 → All 74 lives were lost when a passenger train plunged from the Tay Bridge (Dundee, Scotland) into the Tay Estuary as the middle section of the bridge collapsed. Although the bridge was poorly constructed and had already been weakened in earlier gales (including the pre-existing winds at the time of the tragedy), the ultimate failure is believed to have been caused by two or three waterspouts which were sighted close to the bridge immediately before the accident.
 28 December 1999 → From the 26th to the 28th two incredibly powerful wind storms tore through northern and western Europe. Winds were over 100 mph in France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Devastation to trees, power grids, and buildings was widespread. 140 people lost their lives.
 28 December 2003 → A severe snow storm hit northern California and southern Oregon. As much as 2 feet of snow fell along Interstate 5 closing a 150-mile stretch of the highway, stranding hundreds of travelers. Winds from the storm caused power outages to more than 200,000 customers. One man died of a heart attack after helping other drivers.

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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)


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