Officially, 8 inches of snow fell in Gillette on Saturday as winds created large drifts and made travel difficult in and out of the community.
That was the most snow on Nov. 30 in the 117-year history of weather records being kept in Gillette since March 1, 1902. The snow also broke the community’s precipitation for the same day with 8 inches of snow equaling 0.44 inches of water.
The previous records were set in 2000, with 5.1 inches of snow falling and 0.38 inches of precipitation.
Saturday’s storm also doubled the precipitation recorded in November and boosted the total snowfall since July 1 to 19.5 inches in Gillette. That moves 2019 to fourth overall for snowfall in November in the past 71 years, beating out the 19 inches that fell in 1948, but falling below 23.8 inches recorded in 1978, 23 inches in 1947, and 22.2 inches in 1964.
The 8 inches of snow also tied for the third most on a single day in the month with Nov. 25, 1975, Nov. 3, 1956,and Nov. 7, 1945. Ranking first with 10.5 inches is Nov. 10, 1978, followed by 8.5 inches on Nov. 13, 1964.
The 8 inches of snow that remained on the ground also tied the record for snow depth on Nov. 30 at 8 inches set in 1975.
While the 19.5 inches of snowfall since July 1 is more than 5 inches above normal, it is eclipsed by the 24.71 inches of snow at the same time of the year set in 1993. The 12.5 inches of snow in November also is nearly 6 inches above normal, but the record is 23.8 inches set in November 1978.
In the annual snowfall ranks for a year, 19.5 inches of snow ties for the least amount of snow in Gillette last set in 1930-31.
The coldest day in November was Nov. 11 when temperatures hit 8 below. The warmest day of the month occurred just two days before that at 63 degrees on Nov. 9.
The average maximum temperature for the month was 43.7 degrees, lower than the normal of 45.4 degrees.
Two days of snow accounted for much of the total in November. They included 8 inches on Nov. 30 and 3 inches on Nov. 10, when the high reached 55 degrees and the low temperature was 11. Another 1.5 inches of snow, with 0.22 inches of precipitation, fell Nov. 4.
Most of the moisture reported at the Gillette-Campbell County Airport on Saturday came in the form of snow. A total of 0.20 inches of precipitation was recorded there, with the highest wind speed of 35 mph and the highest gust recorded at 45 mph.
The snow, heavy at times, added up to 0.74 inches of precipitation in Gillette in November.
The two-day storm, which started Friday, brought a total of 0.36 inches of precipitation o the airport.
The high temperature in November occurred Nov. 9 with 65 degrees at the airport. The coldest temperature was 10 below on Nov. 11.
Regional storm impact
The National Weather Service in Rapid City, South Dakota, said the “amount of snow and moisture with this system were impressive for this time of year.” Several new records were set, according to the blizzard report.
The system brought two feet of snow to the northern Black Hills and 8 to 18 inches in the plains.
Rapid City received 14.5 inches of snow Saturday, breaking records for snowfall for the day (the previous monthly one-day snowfall was 10.6 inches which fell Nov. 6, 1998.
The 15.9 inches of snow that fell in Rapid City over the two days also broke the record for the month, which was set Nov. 21-22, 2003, with 12.5 inches.
Another record was set with the total of 26 inches of snow in November (breaking the previous 22.4), the highest amount ever reported. However, no records were kept in Rapid City in 1985,when 33.6 inches of snow fell in November.
Thirty inches of snow was reported in Lead, South Dakota, with 3- to 5-foot drifts on Saturday, along with 30 inches at Central City, South Dakota.
Twenty-three inches of snow was reported in Spearfish, South Dakota, and 18 inches at Sturgis, South Dakota.
In Wyoming, Beulah received 13.5 inches, Hulett recorded 13 inches and Sundance recorded 12.7 inches, followed by Weston with 12 inches.
Wind speeds reached 59 mph in Rapid City.