Mitchell sees near-record snowfall in January 2023

Month saw sixth highest overall snowfall of any month

Mitchell's Brad Jelinek blows snow off the sidewalk in front of his house on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2022.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

MITCHELL — It has been a snowy season for Mitchell area residents, whether they be homeowners, business owners or farmers.

In fact, this year saw the third-highest snowfall total for the month of January in Mitchell. According to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, Mitchell received 27.3 inches of snow in January. That is also the sixth-greatest total snowfall of any month in the community.

That’s not far off the all-time record for January. That occurred in 1910 when 31 inches of snow fell in Mitchell.

Mitchell also this year recorded a single-day snowfall record for Jan. 3. On that day, 17.2 inches of snow came down in the community. The previous record on that day was 6 inches, which fell in 1949.

Jeff Chapman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, said several communities in the area saw high snowfall amounts this winter.


“Most of the heavy snowfall has been along and south of the Interstate 90 corridor through the early part of the season,” Chapman said. “But that’s not atypical for the type of year we’re in.”

Other communities are also seeing record or near-record breaking snowfall totals for the month.

In Sioux Falls, about 21.4 inches of snow fell during the month of January. That’s the second-most all-time, with the record of 22.2 inches coming down in 1929. Last year, Sioux Falls only received 2.8 inches of snowfall during January.

Like Mitchell, Sioux Falls also saw a record snowfall amount for Jan. 3, when 7.5 inches fell on the community. That topped the previous record of 6 inches in 1897.

Despite the heavy general snowfall, some locations came in with more modest totals, like Huron. According to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, Huron received 6.5 inches of snow in January, good enough to come in 54th all time for the month in the community.

Huron had its snowiest January in 2001 with 28.7 inches of snow.

But others were like Mitchell, seeing near-record or record amounts of snow for January.

  • About 34 inches fell in Platte in January of this year, setting a new record for the month. The previous record was 21.1 inches in 2001, although records only date back to 1952.
  • Menno, the records for which date back to 1897, saw 26 inches of snowfall in January. The previous record was 21.5 inches in 1937.
  • Salem only has official records dating back to 2001, but the 29.8 inches of snow it received in January is the most on record. 
  • At Academy, snowfall for January totaled 33 inches. That tops the previous record of 28.2 inches in 2001. Records at Academy go back to 1899.
  • In Tyndall, data shows that 28.9 inches of snow fell in January. While there are a few years missing in the official record, that counts as the highest total recorded for January. The second most fell in 1988 when 21.5 inches came down. The data for Tyndall dates back to 1893.

Chapman said the National Weather Service was still waiting for complete monthly reports from several communities, such as Chamberlain, and therefore the total snowfall amounts in those communities is not yet fully known.
While cold temperatures currently dominate the forecast, Chapman said area residents should be able to put the snow shovel away for a short time at least.


“In the short term it’s looking fairly quiet. There is a very small chance of possibly seeing a bit of light rain or snow in eastern South Dakota about the early part of next week, but generally things are going to be quiet,” Chapman said.

As the huge storm front moved into the area on Monday night, it caused multiple interstate closures and no travel advisories across southeastern South Dakota the following day.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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