National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

On This Day In

                   Weather History

February 2nd

Local and Regional Events:

February 2, 1960:

Heavy icing from freezing rain accumulations from the afternoon of the 2nd to the afternoon of the 3rd occurred mainly across the eastern half of the state. Severe damage to power lines and telephone service happened in the Watertown and Wessington Springs area. Ice coatings of up to 3 inches thick and having an estimated weight of nine pounds per foot of wire formed around telephone and some power lines over a wide area of the eastern counties. A 300-foot tower high collapsed at Wessington Springs and in some areas utility wires were completely down for stretches of 2 to 3 miles. Some 170 long distance telephone circuits were knocked out in larger cities, and 19 towns from Bonesteel on south to Watertown on the north were completely without phone service for two to three days after the storm. Many highways were treacherous, and numerous vehicles collided or slid off the road into the ditch. Many schools were also closed.

 

February 2, 2003:

Widespread freezing rain developed across parts of central and into northeast South Dakota through the late night hours producing significant icing of a quarter to a half inch by the late morning hours. No significant tree damage or power outages occurred. Although, travel was greatly disrupted with many accidents and vehicles sliding off the road. The freezing rain changed over to snow during the mid-morning hours and became heavy with 6 to 9 inches of snow accumulating before it ended in the late evening. Some snowfall amounts included, 6 inches at Ree Heights, Miller, and Faulkton, 7 inches at Clear Lake, 8 inches at Bryant, and 9 inches at Milbank.
 

February 2, 2011:

Blizzard conditions developed along and east of the Sisseton Hills late on February 2nd and continued into the mid-morning hours of February 3rd. Strong southwest winds of 30 to 40 mph gusting to around 55 mph picked up the existing snow cover causing blizzard conditions which wreaked havoc along Interstate-29. Whiteout conditions and heavy drifting brought traffic to a halt along a stretch of Interstate-29 from north of Wilmot to Sisseton. One-hundred fifty to two-hundred vehicles were stranded along this stretch. A full-scale rescue operation ensued during the night and continued into the next day. Interstate-29 was closed from Watertown to the North Dakota border as it took most of the day to clean up all of the stalled vehicles. There were also many accidents along the stretch of the interstate with many people stranded for up to twelve hours. There were also many other people stranded on secondary roads which had to be rescued. No injuries occurred as a result of this incident. The Roberts County Emergency Manager was stranded and conducted emergency operations from his vehicle. Interstate-29 was reopened by the evening of February 3rd.

Local Climate Information:

Click HERE for daily climate information for Aberdeen, Mobridge, Pierre, Sisseton, and Watertown.

Click HERE for daily climate information for Sioux Falls, Huron, Mitchell, and Sioux City.

U.S.A and Global Events for February 2nd:

1898: The naming of hurricanes after women was always the center of controversy. In the Southern Hemisphere near Australia, tropical cyclones were once called Willy-Willies. An Australian Meteorologist, Clement Wragge is credited for giving girls names to tropical cyclones by the end of the 19th Century. On this date, Wragge's weather journal showed a Willy-Willy named "Eline."

 

1905: At Des Moines, Iowa, a low temperature of 26 degrees below zero set their all-time February record low. This record would be tied just 11 days later on the 13th. At Sioux City, Iowa, the low of 30 degrees below zero remains as their third coldest temperature on record.

 

1952: An area of low pressure moved out of the Gulf of Mexico and across southern Florida on this day. It produced 60 mph winds and two to four inches of rain on February 2 and 3rd. Once the storm reached the Atlantic, it became the first February tropical storm.

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Pressure map above shows the Groundhog Day storm of 1952 as a 1005mb low-pressure system over Florida.

 

1996: An Arctic outbreak that lasted from late January through early February produced nearly 400 hundred record lows, 15 all-time low readings and over 50 new record lows for the month of February. Four states recorded their all-time record low temperatures including Tower, Minnesota on this date with a reading of 60 degrees below zero, canceling Tower's annual Icebox Days festival because it is too cold. Locations that reported their all-time record low or tied included: Cresco, IA: -36°, Osage, IA: -34°, Charles City, IA tied their all-time record low with -32° and Lancaster, WI tied their all-time record low with -31°. International Falls, MN, and Glasgow, MT set records for the month of February with -45° and -38°, respectively. The temperature at Embarrass, MN plummeted to -53°. Rochester, MN dipped to -34° for its coldest temperature in 45 years. Green Bay, WI only reached -16° for the high temperature for the day, their coldest high temperature on record in February. The place to be this day was in Orlando, FL where it was a balmy 85 degrees.

 

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Click HERE for more This Day in Weather History from the Southeast Regional Climate Center.