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October 14-15 Storm Recap: Record Breaker

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Coming into the week Sioux Falls had only seen 0.25” of rain. Well, that changed quickly on Monday as a low pressure system pulled up plenty of moisture from the Gulf dropping record rainfall on a lot of the state of South Dakota.

Rain began just after midnight early Monday morning for parts of South Dakota and seemed to stay fairly steady throughout the day and overnight into Tuesday. Rainfall was heavy at times with Sioux Falls seeing at or more than 1/5 of an inch of rain in an hour 4 times! A lot of the rain fell over a 24 hour time span rather than all at once which helped to limit to flooding potential, however there were some deep puddles and some minor flooding in some areas.

There were some very impressive totals out of this storm as some spots nearly received 4 inches of rainfall. The spots hit the hardest seem to have been extreme southeast South Dakota including Yankton, Sioux City, and Sioux Falls as well those along the James River Valley into northeast South Dakota and west central Minnesota. Take a look at the map of the area with some of the totals from the local airports. Below it is a list of some of the highest totals that were reported over the 48 hours.

While rainfall spanned just less than 48 hours, the heaviest occurred during the day on Monday and overnight into Tuesday. Some spots saw so much rainfall that they broke daily rainfall records for October 14th! In Mitchell the even managed to break a 114-year old record set back in 1899! Below is a list of the records that were set at the local observation stations.

Overall this event was part of a very wet half of the month of October for most of the region after several dry months! Both the months of July and September failed to bring Sioux Falls an inch of rain and both finished 2 inches or more below normal on monthly precipitation. Other areas across the state had similar results. Coming into October,  68% of the state of South Dakota was at least Abnormally Dry with 25% in a moderate state of drought. The first week of the month brought great improvements and more are expected in Thursday’s update. Below is a look at the rainfall totals so far in the month of October with some spots over 5.50"!

For more details on the rainfall the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls has made a graphic as well as a list of all the rainfall reports that they have received in the link below!
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