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Storm Tracking Across the Plains; Powerful Pacific System is Approaching

Some heavy rain and possible flash flooding may affect the Central Plains through Thursday. Meanwhile, wintry weather conditions will spread through portions of Central and Northern Plains. A powerful storm system is forecast to approach the Pacific Northwest, then spreading inland and down through California through the end of this week. A series of storms will impact Alaska into the weekend. Read More >

Overview

A strong storm system moved out of the central Rockies into the northern and central plains over the November 29-30, 2019 Thanksgiving weekend. The storm brought a large amount of moisture in the form of ice and snow, and very strong winds. Freezing drizzle on Thanksgiving and Black Friday transitioned to snow, which became heavy Friday night (November 29) and Saturday (November 30). Strong winds, with gusts of 45 to 60 mph, developed across northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota Saturday morning. The winds, combined with snowfall amounts of 8 to 18 inches on the plains, created blizzard conditions. In the northern Black Hills, over two feet of snow was reported. Due to the wind direction, areas around and south of Custer, South Dakota only received 3 to 6 inches of snow.


The amounts of snowfall and moisture with this system were impressive for this time of year. In fact, several new records were set in Rapid City at the NWS Office for precipitation and snowfall due to this event: 

  • 14.5" of snow for November 30 set a new daily and monthly snowfall record. The previous monthly 1-day snowfall total was 10.6" on November 6, 1998.
  • 15.9" of snowfall was reported in 2 days (November 29-30). This was the greatest 2-day November total. The previous record for November was 12.5" November 21-22, 2003
  • 2019 November Snowfall was 26.0". This is the highest amount of snowfall ever reported in November. The previous record was 22.4". However, there wasn't any records kept in 1985, when the Rapid City Airport received 33.6" of snow for the month.

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