Record breaking snowfall marks the beginning of winter for South Dakota, Iowa

Record breaking snowfall marks the beginning of winter for South Dakota, Iowa

A strong winter storm that has been lingering over the US northern Plains for several days, brought record breaking snowfall to South Dakota, Iowa on November 30, 2015. Dry grounds have welcomed the much-needed moisture, and the snow blanket is expected to melt over the next couple of days, as somewhat higher temperatures set in.

Major cold weather system caused traffic disruptions and delays across the affected areas as it brought thick snow layer and heavy rainfall to parts of the Plains. Numerous schools have been closed throughout the regions, media reported.

"It's been responsible not only for the heavy snows up here in the northern Plains, but also torrential heavy rains in the lower Missouri River Valley and into the Tennessee River Valley," said Matthew Dux, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Video credit: ArenasWorld12 via YouTube

22 cm (8.7 inches) of snowfall was recorded in Sioux Falls on November 30, an amount which set a new record, beating an old one of 19.3 cm (7.6 inches) set in 1954. At the same time, a record-breaking amount of 18.3 cm (7.2 inches) was reported in Mitchell while 16.8 cm (6.6 inches) was recorded in Sioux City, Iowa. The measured amounts of snowy precipitation have beaten the old records set in 1991 in Mitchell and in 1981 in Sioux City.

According to the NWS the November 2015 snowfall in Sioux Falls and Sioux City is ranked among the top five recorded.

By the end of December 1, the region will likely see more snow and winter weather warnings and advisories remain in effect. However, new records are highly unlikely at this point.

Previously warm grounds have welcomed the moisture, as one-fourth of Dakota has been unusually dry, according to the US Drought Monitor map:"The ground isn't completely frozen yet. A lot of this snow, when it does melt, it will be soaking into the ground. A lot of places have been dry this fall, and a snow like this is definitely beneficial heading into the winter,"Dux explained.

This snow from this storm is expected to melt and recede as the usual outbreak of cold air from Arctic is not expected to follow into the northern Plains for the time-being. Somewhat higher temperatures, between -1 °C and 4 °C (30 and 40 °F), have been forecast to follow into next week.

Featured image: Sioux Falls covered in record-breaking snow, November 30, 2015. Image credit: ArenasWorld12 via YouTube

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