Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

IN HISTORY: Rapid City Receives Earliest Recorded Snowfall photo
September 15, 2017

IN HISTORY: Rapid City Receives Earliest Recorded Snowfall

Just three years ago on September 11, 2014, Rapid City received its earliest snowfall since weather records in the region began in 1888. Prior to the September 2014 storm, the earliest snowfall was on September 13, 1970 when a scant seven-tenths of an inch was recorded in Rapid City.

While such an early winter storm is unusual for Rapid City, such an occurrence is more likely in the Black Hills. The 2014 storm dropped approximately eight inches of snow in Custer. Mount Rushmore reported seven inches of snow while Sundance, Wyoming also received a fair share with 4 recorded inches.  Rapid City fared better than the surrounding area and escaped with a mere 1.6 inches of snow.

Residents of the Black Hills are more than accustomed to strange weather trends. While a large amount of snow fell in the hills, relatively few areas required plowing due to fast melt times. Rapid City schools didn’t miss a beat and normal hours were held. In Hill City—which received five inches of snow—the 1880 train operated on its traditional schedule albeit with a chainsaw aboard in the event the train encountered any downed trees across the tracks.

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