2008 Weather: By the Numbers

A summary of weather events in the Black Hills Region during 2008.  Complete details of these events and other statistics are available in the 2008 Weather Summary.


1: Ranking of 2008 annual precipitation at Lead (42.92 inches), Spearfish (36.08 inches), Devils Tower (26.05 inches), Maurine 12SW/Opal (29.55 inches), and Milesville 5NE (31.28 inches).  More precipitation totals are available in the Annual Precipitation table.


2:  Back-to-back blizzards on May 1-2 and November 5-7.  Each storm brought ten to 20 inches of wet, heavy snow to the plains of western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, several feet of snow over the Black Hills, and wind gusts 60 to 80 mph.


3: Days in December had maximum temperatures zero degrees or colder in Rapid City (Dec 14-16).  December 2008 was the sixth coldest December at the Rapid City Regional Airport, with an average temperature of 17.8 degrees.


3: Severe hail storms pounded Rapid City during the summer:  Golf ball sized hail smashed windows and dented cars on the north end of town June 4; Hail over two inches in diameter fell across the southern and eastern sections of the city July 23, and golf ball sized hail pelted the western portion August 12.


4.25: Diameter of largest hail reported eight miles southeast of Hermosa on June 1, one of 444 reports of large hail (at least 3/4 inch diameter) during the summer.


9: Counties in western South Dakota declared Federal disaster areas due to flooding in May and early June.


11.49: Inches of rain measured at Fort Meade in May was its greatest monthly precipitation on record.  May was also the wettest month in Rapid City, Newell, Elm Springs, and Maurine 12 SW/Opal.


14: Tornadoes in northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota.  Five occurred in Ziebach County; four in Campbell County, Wyoming; and three in Weston County, one of which tracked across the western Black Hills into South Dakota.


19: Degrees below zero was the year’s coldest temperature in Rapid City on December 15.  The coldest temperature in the region was -29 degrees recorded at Oral, SD on Dec 15 and 14NE Upton, WY on January 22.


98: mph was the strongest thunderstorm wind gust measured west of Hamill in northeastern Tripp County (northeast of Winner) on July 28; a total of 156 severe thunderstorm wind gusts (58 mph or higher) were reported.


99: Hottest temperature in Rapid City on August 30 and 31—the last two days of meteorological summer. 2008 was the first year since 1997 that the temperature did not reach 100 degrees.  The highest temperature was 102 degrees at Cedar Butte on July 29 and several other locations in August.


101: mph wind gust measured west of Spearfish on Jan 27, toppling trucks and damaging buildings and trees.


265.4: Inches of snow fell in Lead during the 2007-08 snow season, the fourth highest yearly snowfall on record.  So far this winter, Lead has received 109 inches of snow, compared to 45.7 inches at the end of December 2007.



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