November Recap: Record Breaking – A Tale of two Halves

A Warm then Snowy Month Comes to a Close

If it felt like November was a month full of extremes, well you’re right. We saw EVERYTHING during the final month of Meteorological Autumn and boy was it fun. Whether you are a lover of warmth and sunshine or if you’re a winter weather fanatic, November definitely left you happy.

At the start the month we saw some very warm temperatures with high temperatures reaching 60-degrees or higher in nine of the first fourteen days in Sioux Falls. Those 60s all played a part in making this the second warmest 15 day start to the month of November in Sioux Falls’ history with an average temperature of 47.1°, which is very impressive as it is a full 10-degrees above the average for that timeframe of 37.0°. Huron (46.0° – 3rd), Mitchell (47.8° – 3rd), Brookings (45.6° – 2nd), Yankton (48.4° – 3rd), Pierre (44.2° – 10th), Aberdeen (43.9° – 5th), and Watertown (46.5° – 2nd) all finished with an average temperature in the top 10 for warmest 15 day start to the month.

The second half of the month was much different as Nov. 16-30 finished with an average temperature of 29.3°, which was still 1.0° above the normal average for that timeframe of 28.3° but nowhere near the top of the list. Combining the two halves we get a final monthly average temperature of 38.2°, which is not only above the normal average of 32.7°, but it also ranks as the 21st warmest month of November in Sioux Falls history.

While the second half of the month didn’t break any records when it comes to temperatures, it made up for it by bringing us snow. Lots of snow. Two separate storm systems brought places in southeast South Dakota over half a foot of snow, some places seeing much more than that. On the whole, Sioux Falls had a monthly total of 17.3” of snow for the entire month of November, which ranks as 4th all time for the month of November in Sioux Falls.

The most impressive thing is that all of the snow fell in just the final 11 days as the first day of snow was November 20th. There were three major snow events over this time period, the first being Nov. 20, the second was Thanksgiving Day, and the third was the final day of the month, Nov. 30.

Snow Storm – November 20th

Not only did we see plenty of snow in the month, but the storm on Nov. 20 may go down as one of the biggest snowstorms all time for some places in southeastern South Dakota. Totals ranged from six to 18 inches across the Sioux Falls area with a report of 18.0” coming from Tea. 13.0” ranks as third on the list for snowiest day all time in Centerville as does the 16.8” total in Canton. While 11.0” is the fourth snowiest day in Yankton’s history, 14.8” ranks as fifth on the list for most snow in a single day in Marion. Sheldon, IA picked up 14.0” of snow on the 20th, which ranks as the second highest single day total in their history, the same can be said for Rock Rapids, IA who, picked up 15.0”.

While we saw impressive all time daily snowfall in some places, it also set a daily snowfall record for many places across the area. Sioux Falls broke the record for daily snowfall record by 1pm!

The Sioux Falls airport officially ended up with 7.2” of snow from this storm. Other places that broke their daily record include Mitchell, Sioux City, IA, and Spencer, IA. It was also the 9th snowiest day in Sioux Falls’ history at the time, but now sits at no. 10 because of the storm from November 30th!

Thanksgiving Day
We all know the saying “White Christmas” but this year we were treated to a White Thanksgiving. While it wasn’t the snowiest day of the month and we only saw a very unimpressive total of 1.4” of snow, it is interesting to hear that this Thanksgiving’s snowfall ranks in the top 10 for snowiest Thanksgiving days of all time in Sioux Falls, narrowly missing the top 5.

With that 1.4” of snow that brought the monthly total at the Sioux Falls airport up to 8.6”, but that was just the start of things.

Snow Storm – November 30th
While the first significant snowfall brought higher totals than the storm that moved in on the final day of the month, the last storm of the month brought significant totals to a wider spread area ranging from the northern Missouri River Valley into southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa.

Snow fall totals were still very impressive for November standards as we saw a wide range of 8.0” or more with the heaviest totals being reported in south central South Dakota with places being close to a foot!

Bridgewater’s official total came in at 10.0” which ranks as the 7th snowiest day ever for the town. Sioux Falls broke the daily snowfall record for November 30th by recording 8.7” breaking the previous record of 7.6” set back in 1954. Mitchell, Watertown, and Sioux City, IA also broke their daily snowfall records for Nov. 30.

Needless to say that many people broke out the shovels but also the shorts during the month of November in a month that will go down in the record books, but also in many people’s minds as one of the craziest months weather-wise they have ever seen.

While December is off to a slower start, we aren’t even halfway through and the outlook for next week is a looking a little snowy!

-Brandon Spinner
Chief Meteorologist
Twitter: @wxspinner89
Facebook: Meteorologist Brandon Spinner