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Record lows blast SD, but warmer temps on the horizon

The worst is behind us. The extreme cold temperatures have passed, and, according to the National Weather Service, there's only a slight chance of light snow in the forecast for the foreseeable future. And, even more good news, higher-than-normal...

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Brian Patrick is covered in snow and frost while plowing his driveway on Saturday morning in Mitchell. (Matt Gade / Republic)

The worst is behind us.

The extreme cold temperatures have passed, and, according to the National Weather Service, there’s only a slight chance of light snow in the forecast for the foreseeable future.

And, even more good news, higher-than-normal temperatures should arrive to the region by Tuesday, when the forecasted high is 37.

Temperatures reached a record-low for Dec. 18 at about 7 a.m. Sunday in Mitchell at 26-below zero. That broke the previous record of 24-below zero, set in 1922. Sunday’s wind chill dropped to 43-below zero. The average temperature for this year is a high of 29 and low of 11.

According to Billy Williams, with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, the low temperatures were caused by cold air dropping down out of Canada.

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On Saturday morning when the precipitation was done, Mitchell saw an accumulation of 6.5 inches of snow from the two-day blast.

Mitchell resident and Dakota Wesleyan University Professor Brian Patrick jokingly said he couldn’t think of a better way than spending part of his birthday shoveling snow Saturday morning.

With the snowfall and low temperatures caused poor driving conditions. Williams noted he saw two vehicles slide off the road just driving into work in Sioux Falls. Sheriff’s offices in The Daily Republic’s coverage region, however, did not report any injury crashes from the weekend.

Like Mitchell, all of South Dakota received bitterly cold temperatures over the weekend. Aberdeen had an actual temperature of 37-below zero, which was the lowest recorded temp in the nation, the NWS said.

Snow could return Wednesday in Mitchell, with a 20 percent chance of light snow before 1 p.m., and then a slight chance of rain and snow mix between 1 and 4 p.m.

The low temperatures across the Midwest and into the Northeast have caused reports of delays at airports and vehicle accidents.

Airports have reported hundreds of flight delays or cancellations across the country because of the weather.

At least nine deaths nationwide have been blamed on the slick roads. Authorities are investigating other traffic fatalities as possibly weather-related.

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In Baltimore, a tanker carrying gasoline skidded off a highway on Saturday and exploded.

In southwestern Michigan, icy conditions appear to have played a role in a crash that killed a 73-year-old motorist.

In Chicago, police say a commercial plane slid off a runway early Sunday at O'Hare International Airport. There were no injuries reported from the incident just after 1 a.m.


Related Topics: WEATHER
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