Rapid City, SD – 2022 was filled with some pretty big weather events, even after a very slow start.
The blizzard swept across the Northern Great Plains and was essentially cut off from North Dakota, but the effects were felt as far north as southwest South Dakota where Buffalo received approx.
From 21 to 23 April
A week and a half later, severe thunderstorms moved across the state, dropping 3.5 inches of hail between Wall and Kadoka and 2 inches of hail in the southern Black Hills. Over the next several hours, on the morning of April 22, the rain and hail turned to snow.
Another blizzard has hit far western South Dakota, dumping two feet of snow into the northern hills.
The weather activity stops in May, but returns in full force in June. Thunderstorms that brought down thick hail battered the Black Hills and surrounding plains over the course of three days.
Hail 4.5 inches was reported in Wall and large amounts of hail 4 inches were reported in Bell Fourche, destroying buildings and vehicles. There was even a small tornado near Mordo.
During this period, winds of over 90 mph were recorded on each of those days.
After a brief lull in thunderstorm activity, the storms returned to the area at the beginning of July. These thunderstorms weren’t particularly strong, but they were taking advantage of seasonal moisture coming in from the desert southwest.
This amount of moisture, combined with a steady front, resulted in several inches of rain falling over Box Elder in less than an hour. All of this rain caused widespread flooding across the region and damaged many homes.
The weather in the fall was fairly calm, but the onset of winter greeted the region with a massive blizzard. Over the course of five days, several feet of snow blanketed the Central Plains and Northern Black Hills.
50 inches of snow has been reported at Terry Peak. There were also several gusts of wind over 60 mph, which greatly reduced visibility.
Mother Nature didn’t give us much rest to recover from the previous storm before throwing us another curve ball. In the week after the December 12-16 blizzard, temperatures eased and winds began to pick up.
Wind chills have dropped to dangerously low temperatures, reaching -50°C in some areas. On the night of December 21, a small amount of snow fell on the area. Because of the temperatures, there wasn’t much moisture in the snow. This means that it can be blown away more easily by the wind.
The snowfall created a ground blizzard, dropping visibility to near zero at times and making travel impossible in much of the state. There were so many blizzards that they could only be seen by satellite.
At about 1:30 a.m. on December 22, Rapid City broke its daily record for the lowest temperature when it dropped to -18 degrees.
This combined with very strong winds sent wind chills of up to 60 degrees across the area and created a deadly situation for anyone who was stuck on the roads during the blizzard.
Looking ahead, it looks like South Dakota won’t have much respite until 2023, with more wintry weather on the way.
Here’s what 2022 looks like for weather events in South Dakota:
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