Storm brings quarter-inch of rain to Mitchell
A spring thunderstorm moved through the region Wednesday night into Thursday morning and soaked Mitchell with more than a quarter of an inch of rain.
The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls reported pea-sized hail in Mitchell at about 11:35 p.m. Wednesday and slightly larger than pea-sized hail in Canistota at about 12:10 a.m. Thursday.
Heavier rains fell overnight to the west of Mitchell, with Plankinton and White Lake each getting about half of an inch.
Tim Masters, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, said it's relatively late in the year for the region to be getting its first thunderstorm, as that usually happens in April instead of May.
"That seems to be the new normal for this year," Masters said. "Everything has been running late."
A total of 0.53 inches of rain fell in Mitchell for the entire month of April, well below the normal of 2.18 inches. The storm Wednesday night into Thursday morning was the first significant rainfall in the city for the month of May.
Temperatures in Mitchell for April and May have also been lower than normal.
"I don't see that changing anytime soon," Masters said. "But eventually things should moderate out by summertime."
A spokesman for Northwestern Energy, Tom Glanzer, said a lightning strike is the suspected cause of a 2-second power outage in Letcher during the storm.
The outage, which Glanzer called a "blip," affected about 180 Northwestern Energy customers.
There were no other outages reported in the area as a result of the storm, Glanzer said.
More severe weather was forecast for regions east of Mitchell in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.
The South Dakota Department of Transportation announced Thursday that a 25-mile gravel stretch of Highway 53 in Lyman and Mellette counties was closed due to the heavy rain that area received late Wednesday and early Thursday.