Summary of November 5-7 Winter Storm/Blizzard Event -- Photos Requested!

Event Synopsis

If you have digital photos from the Winter Storm/Blizzard Event, the NWS in Aberdeen would love to see them!  You can email the photos to:   w-abr.webmaster@noaa.gov

The first major winter storm of the season affected a large portion of north-central and northeastern South Dakota beginning Wednesday night and persisting through Friday morning. This winter storm was caused by a very strong low pressure system that developed over the Dakotas on Wednesday. As colder air was drawn into the system on Wednesday night, rain gradually changed over to a wintry mix of freezing rain, sleet, and snow over portions of Corson, Dewey, Stanley, and Jones counties. Up to a half inch of icing was reported over Corson and Dewey counties. The ice combined with very strong northwesterly winds of up to 60 mph, resulted in the downing of many power poles and widespread power outages west of the Missouri River.  In addition, the wintry precipitation made travel extremely hazardous  with many roadways becoming snow and ice covered and slippery. 

As the low pressure center moved slowly eastward on Thursday, the wintry mix of rain, sleet and freezing rain gradually changed over to snow from west to east across the state.  Many areas experienced blizzard conditions on Thursday evening and Thursday night due to the combination of very strong winds and falling and blowing snow. Many locations reported visibilities reduced to less than one quarter mile, with some locations seeing “white out” conditions at times. 

The heaviest snow generally fell over portions of west-central South Dakota, where 6 to 8 inches of snow was reported. A secondary maximum of near 6 inches also occurred in far eastern South Dakota, near Watertown (see graphic below).  However, the very strong winds produced significant blowing and drifting snow which made accurate snowfall measurements extremely difficult. 

 

 

Initially, heavier amounts of snow were forecast over the area – so what happened?  First, the initial band of heavy snow on Wednesday night ended up falling further west over far western South Dakota (for example Spearfish received 3 feet of snow!). Second, much of the forecast area became “dry slotted” during the day on Thursday which essentially means that much drier air moved over the region than was anticipated. This also resulted in the occurrence of more freezing rain and sleet than initially thought, which led to a reduction in the snowfall amounts. Obviously, large storm systems like this often become very complex, which continues to make winter weather forecasting a challenge!      

More specific storm reports are provided below:

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ABERDEEN SD
117 PM CST FRI NOV 07 2008

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
            ..REMARKS..

0200 AM     BLIZZARD         HAYES                   44.37N 101.02W
11/06/2008                   STANLEY            SD   EMERGENCY MNGR

            VISIBILITY 1/4MI OR LESS FOR MUCH OF THE EVENT. 5 TO 6
            INCHES OF SNOWFALL TOTAL. POWER LINES DOWN IN WESTERN
            PART OF THE COUNTY

1039 AM     FREEZING RAIN    MCINTOSH                45.92N 101.35W
11/06/2008  E0.25 INCH       CORSON             SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            LAW ENFOREMENT REPORTED SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATION OF SNOW
            AND ICE IN AND AROUND MCINTOSH. NUMEROUS POWER POLES
            REPORTED DOWN WITH WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES.

1045 AM     FREEZING RAIN    ISABEL                  45.40N 101.43W
11/06/2008  E0.50 INCH       DEWEY              SD   CO-OP OBSERVER

            QUARTER TO ONE HALF INCH OF ICE ESTIMATED IN ISABEL.
            APPROXIMATELY 40 POWER POLES LEANING OR DOWN.

1055 AM     FREEZING RAIN    6 E HAYES               44.37N 100.90W
11/06/2008  E0.10 INCH       STANLEY            SD   CO-OP OBSERVER

            FREEZING RAIN OCCURING NEAR HAYES. NO ELECTRICITY DUE TO
            ICE ON POWER LINES.

1108 AM     FREEZING RAIN    11 S GREEN GRASS        45.01N 101.25W
11/06/2008  E0.25 INCH       DEWEY              SD   PUBLIC

            PUBLIC REPORTED A THICK LAYER OF ICE ON CARS..TREES...AND
            OTHER OBJECTS. POWER IS OUT IN THE EAGLE BUTTE AREA.

1121 AM     FREEZING RAIN    3 W OKATON              43.89N 100.95W
11/06/2008  E0.25 INCH       JONES              SD   TRAINED SPOTTER

            QUATER INCH OF ICE BUILD UP...VERY WINDY AND NO POWER
            NEAR OKATON.

0300 PM     BLIZZARD         MOUND CITY              45.73N 100.07W
11/06/2008                   CAMPBELL           SD   EMERGENCY MNGR

            VISIBILITY 1/4MI OR LESS FOR MUCH OF THE EVENT. 2 INCHES
            OF SNOW ESTIMATED ON GROUND. ROADS 50 TO 100 PERCENT SNOW
            AND ICE COVERED.

0430 PM     BLIZZARD         MURDO                   43.89N 100.71W
11/06/2008                   JONES              SD   EMERGENCY MNGR

            STILL SNOWING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH VISIBILITIES LESS
            THAN A QUARTER MILE. SOME POWER LINES AND POLES DOWN
            NORTH OF TOWN.

0455 PM     BLIZZARD         MCLAUGHLIN              45.81N 100.81W
11/06/2008                   CORSON             SD   TRAINED SPOTTER

            VISIBLITY NEAR ZERO AT TIMES. TOTAL SNOWFALL ESTIMATED AT
            3 TO 4 INCHES.

0555 PM     BLIZZARD         ROSCOE                  45.45N 99.33W
11/06/2008                   EDMUNDS            SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            VISIBILITY ONE EIGHTH MILE OR LESS.

0600 PM     BLIZZARD         CLARK                   44.88N 97.73W
11/06/2008                   CLARK              SD   FIRE DEPT/RESCUE

            ESTIMATED 35-40 MPH WINDS WITH HIGHER GUSTS CREATED
            SEVERAL HOURS OF VISIBILITIES OF A QUARTER MILE OR LESS.
            AN ESTIMATED 3 INCHES OF SNOW FELL.

0600 PM     BLIZZARD         4 SSW FORT SISSETON STA 45.61N 97.56W
11/06/2008                   MARSHALL           SD   TRAINED SPOTTER

            ESTIMATED 35-40 MPH WINDS CREATED QUARTER MILE OR LESS
            VISIBILITIES IN SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW. AN ESTIMATED 2.0
            INCHES OF SNOW FELL.

0630 PM     SNOW             HAYTI                   44.66N 97.20W
11/06/2008  E6.0 INCH        HAMLIN             SD   EMERGENCY MNGR

            ESTIMATED 6 INCHES OF SNOW.VISIBILITY AT TIMES ONE HALF
            MILE OR LESS. ROADS SLUSH AND SNOW COVERED.

0630 PM     BLIZZARD         GETTYSBURG              45.01N 99.95W
11/06/2008                   POTTER             SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            ESTIMATED 40-50 MPH WINDS CREATED VISIBILITIES BETWEEN 50
            FEET AND A MILE. AN ESTIMATED 2 INCHES OF SNOW FELL.

0700 PM     BLIZZARD         7 WSW ABERDEEN          45.44N 98.62W
11/06/2008                   BROWN              SD   TRAINED SPOTTER

            STRONG WINDS CREATED QUARTER MILE VISIBILITIES IN SNOW
            AND BLOWING SNOW. ESTIMATED 1.0 INCH TOTAL SNOWFALL.

0700 PM     BLIZZARD         PIERRE                  44.37N 100.32W
11/06/2008                   HUGHES             SD   EMERGENCY MNGR

            VISIBILITY 1/4MI OR LESS AT TIMES. ESTIMATED 2 INCHES OF
            TOTAL SNOWFALL.

0700 PM     BLIZZARD         5 S ELLENDALE           45.93N 98.54W
11/06/2008                   BROWN              SD   TRAINED SPOTTER

            35-40 MPH WINDS WITH FALLING SNOW CREATED VISIBILITIES OF
            A QUARTER MILE OR LESS. ESTIMATED 0.5 TOTAL SNOWFALL.

0700 PM     BLIZZARD         1 SSW STRATFORD         45.30N 98.31W
11/06/2008                   BROWN              SD   TRAINED SPOTTER

            ESTIMATED 35-40 MPH WINDS CREATED VISIBILITIES OF 1/4 TO
            1/2 MILE IN THE EVENING. ESTIMATED 1.5 INCHES OF TOTAL
            SNOWFALL.

0730 PM     BLIZZARD         KENNEBEC                43.90N 99.86W
11/06/2008                   LYMAN              SD   EMERGENCY MNGR

            1/4MI VISIBILITY OR LESS FOR MUCH OF THE EVENT. 4 INCHES
            ESTIMATED TOTAL SNOWFALL, 2 INCHES ESTIMATED CURRENTLY ON
            THE GROUND. 3 FOOT SNOWDRIFTS IN PLACES. INTERSTATE 90 IN
            THE COUNTY STILL CLOSED.

0730 PM     BLIZZARD         GANN VALLEY             44.03N 98.99W
11/06/2008                   BUFFALO            SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            1/4MI VISIBILITY FOR 3 TO 4 HOURS. 3 INCHES ESTIMATED
            SNOWFALL. 1 INCH CURRENTLY ON THE GROUND.

0825 PM     BLIZZARD         MILLER                  44.52N 98.99W
11/06/2008                   HAND               SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            VISIBILITY LESS THAN A QUARTER MILE FOR SEVERAL HOURS.
            STILL SNOWING IN MILLER.

0830 PM     BLIZZARD         TIMBER LAKE             45.43N 101.07W
11/06/2008                   DEWEY              SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            VISIBILITY DOWN TO 40 FEET AT TIMES. STILL SNOWING WITH 4
            TO 6 INCHES ESTIMATED ON THE GROUND.

0830 PM     BLIZZARD         MOBRIDGE                45.54N 100.44W
11/06/2008                   WALWORTH           SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            VISIBILITY TO NEAR ZERO AT TIMES OUTSIDE OF TOWN. STILL
            SNOWING ALONG WITH BLOWING SNOW.

0900 PM     BLIZZARD         HIGHMORE                44.52N 99.44W
11/06/2008                   HYDE               SD   EMERGENCY MNGR

            VISIBILITY 1/4MI OR LESS AT TIMES. 6 INCHES TOTAL
            SNOWFALL...2-3 INCHES CURRENTLY ON GROUND. 6-7 FOOT
            DRIFTS IN SOME PLACES.

0902 PM     BLIZZARD         4 NW ONIDA              44.75N 100.12W
11/06/2008                   SULLY              SD   CO-OP OBSERVER

            STILL SNOWING WITH VISIBILITY ONE QUARTER MILE AT TIMES
            IN BLOWING SNOW. SNOWFALL AROUND 1-2 INCHES

0902 PM     BLIZZARD         REDFIELD                44.87N 98.52W
11/06/2008                   SPINK              SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW CONTINUES. VISIBILITY LESS THAN A
            QUARTER MILE AT TIMES IN SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW.

0920 PM     BLIZZARD         FAULKTON                45.03N 99.13W
11/06/2008                   FAULK              SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            VISIBILITY ABOUT A QUARTER MILE IN FAULKTON. LASTED
            NUMEROUS HOURS.

0945 PM     HEAVY SNOW       CASTLEWOOD              44.72N 97.03W
11/06/2008  E6.0 INCH        HAMLIN             SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW OCCURRING IN CASTLEWOOD. SOME
            POWER OUTAGES HAVE OCCURRED.

1200 AM     BLIZZARD         4 ENE CRANDALL          45.18N 97.88W
11/07/2008                   DAY                SD   PUBLIC

            2.0 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE GROUND. RAIN THEN
            RAIN/SLEET/SNOW THEN SNOW IN THE AFTERNOON. WINDS PICKED
            UP AND AFTER 6 PM CST SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW REDUCED
            VISIBILITY TO 1/8 TO 1/4 MILE FREQUENTLY BETWEEN 6 PM AND
            MIDNIGHT. FREQUENT GUST TO 35 TO 40 MPH IN THE EVENING.

1200 AM     HEAVY SNOW       6 W STRANDBURG          45.04N 96.88W
11/07/2008  E6.0 INCH        GRANT              SD   PUBLIC

            RAIN CHANGED TO RAIN/SLEET/SNOW AND THEN TO SNOW BY 4 PM
            CST ON THURSDAY. BY MIDNIGHT 6 INCHES OF SNOW ESTIMATED
            ON THE GROUND. AT 6 AM CST ON FRIDAY THAT TOTAL HAS
            DIMINISHED TO AROUND 4 INCHES FROM MELTING AND
            COMPACTION. WIND GUSTS ALSO CAME UP TO AROUND 30 TO 35
            MPH LATE IN THE EVENING.

1200 AM     HEAVY SNOW       HENRY                   44.88N 97.46W
11/07/2008  E6.0 INCH        CODINGTON          SD   PUBLIC

            GUSTS TO 35 TO 40 MPH LATE IN THE EVENING. RAIN THEN
            RAIN/SLEET/SNOW THEN SNOW WHICH BECAME HEAVY WET SNOW.
            ALOT OF MELTING.

0200 AM     HEAVY SNOW       CLEAR LAKE              44.77N 96.68W
11/07/2008  E6.0 INCH        DEUEL              SD   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            RAIN CHANGED TO SNOW AROUND 230 PM CST ON THURSDAY AND
            REALLY STARTED TO PICK UP AFTER 3 PM CST. SOME SLEET
            MIXED IN EARLY ON. ESTIMATED 6 INCHES OF HEAVY WET SNOW
            ON THE GROUND AT MIDNIGHT. WIND GUSTS TO 35 MPH.



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