October 1999 – South Dakota Hit With Freak Snow Storm
Snow in South Dakota is not abnormal. October snow in South Dakota is not normal, but it isn't shocking. It doesn't happen every year, but it is a thing that happens. Snow will fall, it may or may not stick to the ground, but it usually doesn't hang around very long. But every now and then it does.
Just thinking off the top of my head, I remember a minor snowfall while officiating a football game in early October 2010 or 2011. I was happy because the snow was not as wet as the rain was. ANd there wasn't any shoveling or plowing going on afterward.
21 years ago there was a snowstorm that was out of the ordinary in that it was more than a little dusting. On October 1, 1999, snowfall totals in excess of eight inches were reported in portions of the state. Most of the parts of the state that saw snow had between two and four inches of accumulation.
The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls posted about this on Facebook. They included a detailed map of the narrow swath of snow across the state and also specific snowfall totals for various towns affected by the storm.
DeSmet and Onida had 8.5 inches fall. Highmore, Miller, Camp Crook, and Harding had 8 inches. Another 7 inches fell in Bison, Dupree, and Glad Valley. Brookings and Timber Lake had 5 inches. Pierre had 3.9 inches, Colton had 3.4, and the Sioux Falls Airport had 2.7 inches.
I do not recall this event at all because I was living in Spearfish at the time and, according to the map of snowfall, Spearfish only saw a small trace of snow that day. While going to Black Hills State, I can remember snow falling in both September and May, so an October dusting would not have stood out at all.