SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — As of Monday, the winter storm snow system predicted to hit the area this week will be 1,817 miles long as it stretches from eastern Wyoming to Cape Cod, KELOLAND meteorologist Adam Rutt said.
The winter storm snow forecast shows chances for up to 12 or 14 inches of snow in parts of South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, and northwestern Iowa.
“Figuratively and literally, this a pretty big system,” Rutt said.
It’s a big storm with three major components, Rutt said.
“The fact that this going to be a widespread event with bare minimum of six to eight inches in a lot of locations, of course higher in some locations,” is one component, Rutt said.
But this storm will also have high winds and frigid cold with temperatures dropping below zero Wednesday and Thursday night in many parts of the region.
This week’s predicted snow will add to an already high total over much of South Dakota, northwestern Iowa and southwestern Iowa.
About two weeks ago, KELOLAND meteorologist Scot Mundt said Sioux Falls had 43 inches of snow this winter while Aberdeen had 25.1 inches and Pierre had had 24 inches. Mundt predicted 50 inches of snow in Sioux Falls for the winter.
This week’s storm will add those earlier totals and it looks like Sioux Falls could be beyond 50 inches of snow.
The region has had some big winters for snow.
“The winter of 1968-1969, that comes up a lot,” Rutt said. That particular winter I know was notoriously bad in terms of snowfall.”
The year still holds the season snowfall record in Sioux Falls, he said.
On Feb. 20, 1969, 7.9 inches of snow fell in Huron. The city only got 11.7 inches of snow for the whole month in 1993.
Although Sioux Falls got 94.7 inches of snow in 1968-1969, according to the National Weather Service, a snowstorm in 1962 still holds a record.
On Feb. 16-18, 1962, the Sioux Falls metro area was hit with 32.2 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. Twenty-four inches fell on Feb. 17 and 18.
February of 1962 was a big month and year for snow in South Dakota.
A record 48.3 inches of snow fell in Sioux Falls during February of 1962.
Rutt said it’s too soon to know as it depends on how the storm system takes final shape over the next few days.
Brookings had 10 inches on Feb. 19, 1962. The city had 24 inches that month.
Northwestern Iowa was in the 1962 February mix.
Sheldon got 15 inches on Feb. 18. It got eight inches on Feb. 27, 1969.
Big snow is not limited to 1962 or 1968-1969.
Huron got 9 inches on Feb. 10, 2013.
Worthington, Minnesota, got 19.5 inches of snow in February of 2010. The normal amount is 10.9 inches.
February snow happens but the amounts and frequency are not that of other months.
“We don’t typically see February as among our snowiest months,” Rutt said. “That’s more into March where we really get that ideal situation of more moisture coming up from the gulf and cold air coming in from Canada. Then we get those clashing air masses in place to get some storms going.”
While there is a potentially snowy month ahead in March, Rutt said he understands that the public may be ready for spring. He’s a self-confessed winter lover and even he is ready for spring, Rutt said.
“I get it. These kinds of winters make me appreciate spring just a little bit more,” Rutt said.
One reason why we are losing any enthusiasm is because last winter was mild, even easy, he said.