April 21-23, 2001 Record Snow

Rapid City, SD - 18 inches of snow fell on Rapid City, SD on Sunday, April 22nd. This establishes a new all-time record daily snowfall for the city. The snow fell in about 12 hours. The white stuff started to fly in Rapid City around 11:00 PM Saturday evening. It stopped snowing at 1:40 PM early Sunday afternoon. During this period, moderate to heavy snow was recorded.

The storm also pummeled a large portion of western and south central South Dakota. The heaviest recorded snow was 23 inches 3 miles east of Custer. A snowfall map is presented below.

Snowfall 4/21 to 4/23 2001

Discussion

On Saturday April 21, a closed upper low over the central Rockies intensified. By 10 pm MDT Saturday night, precipitation covered most of northeastern Wyoming and southwestern South Dakota. This precipitation was mainly rain, with snow above 4000 ft MSL in the Black Hills. By 1230 am MDT Sunday, April 22, rain had changed to snow above 3000 ft MSL. The snow line was quickly lowering. The eastward progression of the upper level dynamics and the surface low had nearly ceased, allowing significant upward vertical velocities to remain over southwestern South Dakota longer than anticipated. A large band of snow developed from just west of Rapid City and through Meade County and persisted through 8 am Sunday. Between 230 and 430 am MDT snowfall rates of two to three inches per hour were observed in the southern and central Black Hills and foothills, including Rapid City. After 930 am MDT, the upper level and surface low began to move eastward. Radar and satellite images indicated the focus of the storm was shifting over central Nebraska and south central South Dakota. Precipitation ended over most of western and southwestern South Dakota by noon Sunday. A mix of freezing rain and snow persisted over south central South Dakota during Sunday afternoon. Portions of Mellette, Todd, and Tripp Counties received minor accumulations of ice into the evening. During the evening freezing rain changed to snow. Winds were not strong with this storm.

A swath of 12 to 18 inches of snow extended from just south of Faith in Meade County to just west of Custer. A few reports of 20 to 23 inches were reported in the areas between Rapid City and Keystone. Elsewhere across southwestern South Dakota snowfall was 6 to 12 inches. Twelve to 18 inches fell over southeastern Jackson, Mellette, and Todd Counties.

Record Event Report

...RECORD DAILY SNOWFALL FOR RAPID CITY...
THE RAPID CITY AIRPORT RECORDED 18 INCHES OF SNOWFALL
YESTERDAY...WHICH ESTABLISHES A NEW DAILY SNOWFALL RECORD FOR RAPID
CITY. THE PREVIOUS RECORD OF 16.3 INCHES WAS SET ON JANUARY
27...1944. THIS SNOWFALL TOTAL SMASHES THE PREVIOUS APRIL 22ND
SNOWFALL RECORD OF 4.5 INCHES SET IN 1902.

Detailed Snowfall Report

TRIPP COUNTY
WINNER...13 INCHES
COLOME...12-14 INCHES
2 SSW KEYAPAHA...6-8 INCHES
HAMILL...12+ INCHES
3 SW IDEAL...4 INCHES
TODD COUNTY
PARMELEE...10 INCHES
MISSION...10 INCHES
OLSONVILLE...4-5 INCHES
OKREEK...5-6 INCHES
ROSEBUD CASINO(22 S MISSION)...6-10 INCHES
MELLETTE COUNTY
6 NE WOOD...12-18 INCHES
WOOD...15 INCHES
NORRIS...12-16 INCHES
BENNETT COUNTY
LA CREEK WILDLIFE REFUGE...10 INCHES
MARTIN...12 INCHES
VETAL...6-7 INCHES
ALLEN...8-10 INCHES
2 SW SWETT...10-12 INCHES
HAAKON COUNTY
PHILIP...8 INCHES
5 N MILESVILLE...8 INCHES
MIDLAND...8 INCHES
CUSTER COUNTY
7 SE FAIRBURN...6 INCHES
FAIRBURN...7 INCHES
JACKSON COUNTY
2 E COTTONWOOD...8 INCHES
5 S POTATO CREEK...8-10 INCHES
12 NE LONG VALLEY...7-8 INCHES
SHANNON COUNTY
7 SE BATESLAND...10-12 INCHES
1 S PINE RIDGE 4 INCHES
PENNINGTON COUNTY
RAPID CITY NWS...20 INCHES
RAPID CITY WEST...16 TO 20 INCHES
HILL CITY...18 INCHES
ROCHFORD...7 INCHES
4SE KEYSTONE...12+ INCHES
1SW CAPUTA...10 INCHES
1SE WASTA...7 INCHES
PACTOLA RESEVIOR...13 INCHES
MEADE COUNTY
10SW MAURINE...5 INCHES
5SE WHITE OWL...8 INCHES
WHITE OWL...12 INCHES
TILFORD...6-7 INCHES
12SW HEREFORD...12 INCHES
HERFORD...10 INCHES
FAITH...6 TO 8 INCHES
ELM SPRINGS...9 INCHES
FORT MEADE...8 INCHES
LAWRENCE COUNTY
5SE NEMO...12 INCHES
GALENA...3-4 INCHES
SPEARFISH...1-2 INCHES
DEADWOOD...5-8 INCHES
BEAR RIDGE...4 INCHES
CUSTER COUNTY
CUSTER...18 INCHES
3 SSW HERMOSA...10+ INCHES
23NNW EDGEMONT 11+ INCHES
FALL RIVER COUNTY
HOT SPRINGS...5 INCHES
2N ARDMORE...4-5 INCHES
EDGEMONT...10 INCHES
ZIEBACH COUNTY
13W CHERRY CREEK...5 INCHES
DUPREE...9 INCHES
BUTTE COUNTY
BELLE FOURCHE...1 INCH
VALE...6 INCHES
PERKINS
8NW USTA...2 INCHES
HARDING
28E REDIG...2 INCHES
CAMPBELL COUNTY WYOMING
12W WRIGHT...2 INCHES
GILLETTE...2 INCHES
CROOK COUNTY WYOMING
SUNDANCE...2 INCHES
5S SUNDANCE...1 INCH
WESTON COUNTY WYOMING
12W UPTON...2 INCHES
FOUR CORNERS...4-5 INCHES
NEWCASTLE...3-5 INCHES
9SW CLARETON...3-4 INCHES

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