National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

On This Day In

                   Weather History...

March 15th

Local and Regional Events:

March 15, 1941:

Beware the Ides of March. The most severe blizzard in modern history strikes North Dakota and Minnesota. The blizzard began on a Saturday night while many are traveling, and thus claims 71 lives. Winds gust to 75 mph at Duluth, Minnesota, and reach 85 mph at Grand Forks, North Dakota. Snow drifts twelve feet high are reported in north central Minnesota. A cold front traveling 30 mph crosses Minnesota in just seven hours. Click HERE for more information from the History Channel.


March 15, 2010:

Snowmelt runoff from an expansive snow cover flooded many creeks, roads, along with thousands of acres of pasture and cropland throughout northeast South Dakota. There were numerous road closures. The flooding lasted through the end of the month and for many locations into April. The counties mainly affected were Brown, Marshall, Day, Spink, and Roberts. Numerous communities were affected including Aberdeen, Claremont, Waubay, Amherst, Kidder, and the Richmond Lake area. The Claremont, Amherst, and Britton areas were the hardest hit with flooded land and roads. Several farms were surrounded by water with some people stranded. Between Aberdeen and Britton, sixty percent of the land was under water. Thousands of acres of cropland will not be planted due to too much water with estimates that 20 to 25 percent of Brown county cropland would not be planted. Many people in northeast South Dakota have had too much water for many years. The road damage was extensive and repairs will be in the millions of dollars. Many roads across the area will also have to be raised. Many people had extra-long commutes due to flooded roads with some people having to move out of their homes. Across Day and Marshall Counties, rising lakes threatened many homes and cabins with sandbagging taking place. Most lakes and rivers across northeast South Dakota were at or near record levels. Click HERE for pictures around northeastern South Dakota.



Whetstone River at US Highway 12 near Big Stone City.


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 March 15th:

1938: A tornado hit McPaul, Iowa while moving from southeast to northwest. Another tornado raced through Batesville, Illinois at 60 to 65 mph. Another tornado causing F4 damage killed 10 and injured 12 in St. Clair County, Missouri. This tornado was part of an outbreak that produced four different tornadoes and was responsible for 11 deaths and 42 injuries.


The image above is courtesy from the Monthly Weather Review. Click HERE to read the report.



1952: On Reunion Island, some 400 miles east of Madagascar 127.56 inches of rain fell in a three-day period in the spring of 1952. This set a world record for the most rain in a 72 hour period. Also from the 15th to the 16th 73.62 inches of rain fell in this 24 hours period at Cilaos, La Reunion Island in the South Indian Ocean to set a world record. 


2004: Brownsville, Texas breaks a century-old record for the greatest daily rainfall accumulation for March with 3.23 inches.


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