Early snowstorm brings record low temperatures in Mitchell

Matt Doerr, co-owner of The Collective, shovels snow in front of his business on Main Street on Sunday in Mitchell. (Nick Sabato / Republic)

Fall colors quickly turned white as much of South Dakota was blanketed with snow this weekend, bringing along record-low temperatures.

On Saturday, Mitchell recorded a high temperature of 28 degrees, the coldest high temperature ever recorded for the city by the National Weather Service. The previous record was 31 degrees in 1917. The low on Saturday was 17 degrees, three shy of the record low, also set in 1917.

Average highs for Oct. 23 are 58 degrees and average lows are 35.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 3 inches of snow in Mitchell as of 7 a.m. Sunday, while the Sioux Falls NWS did not have an accurate report, but estimated 3 to 4 inches on Saturday. The NWS reported a 24-hour total of 2.9 inches in Alexandria at 9:45 a.m. Sunday, with 2 to 6 more forecasted throughout the day.

Five miles outside of Stickney, a 24-hour total of 4.5 inches were reported Sunday, while 4.2 inches were measured southwest of Burke and 2.5 inches 10.5 miles southeast of Burke. There were also 4.2 inches reported 5 miles outside of Montrose.


A snow emergency went into effect at noon on Sunday in the City of Mitchell, with vehicles removed from snow emergency routes.

Snow and cold temperatures worsened traveling west, with the NWS reporting temperatures in Winner at 5 degrees, with a minus 8 wind chill. Rapid City recorded 4.5 inches of snow Saturday, breaking a record of 4.1 in 1898, along with a low temperature of 15, initially set in 1919.

Cold weather in Mitchell is expected to continue Monday, with a forecasted high of 22 degrees and a low of 6, before warming up by the end of the week.

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