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Parts of South Dakota receive more than a foot of snow...in late May

It's the latest that Rapid City has seen a foot or more of snow

Photo Credit: Brant Beckman - KNBN in Hill City, SD
Photo Credit: Brant Beckman - KNBN in Hill City, SD

ROANOKE, Va. – A powerful storm system that brought severe weather to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Arkansas has brought an insane amount of snow to parts of South Dakota (and Colorado prior to that). 

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Since 1948, Rapid City, South Dakota has seen measurable snow only twice after May 21. The latest measurable snow on record for the city came on June 13, 1969. The latest foot of snow on record was April 30, 1967. 

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Rapid City, along with Mt. Rushmore, have picked up a foot of snow (as of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday). Other towns outside of Rapid City, like Hisega and Rockerville, have picked up anywhere from a foot and a half to two feet of snow from this storm. 

So how does this happen?

The storm system responsible for this is very strong, meaning that colder air can easily get dragged down. There's also a high amount of moisture content for the storm to work with. You combine that cold air and high moisture content, and you get a big snow - even this late in the year.

Stacy Smith sent this picture to KNBN, the NBC-affiliate in Rapid City, South Dakota. This shows the nearly two feet of snow that fell in Rockerville.

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Now that there's more rain in the forecast, some evacuations have been ordered due to flooding.


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