58″ of snow and gusts to 71 mph!

October 8th, 2013 at 4:03 am by under Bill's Blog, Weather

    This is a picture from the blizzard that hit parts of the Rockies and western High Plains last week.  Beulah, South Dakota had a whopping 58″ of new snow and Lead SD recorded 55″.  Wind gusts hit 71 mph in the Rapid City area!  The 58″ of snow represented 6.78″ liquid…incredible.  Definitely no bikers on the streets of Sturgis SD.    More pictures and a write-up on the storm here.  Some of the leaves here still on the trees out there.    CFS model predicts a cold winter for much of the U.S. and Europe.

56 Responses to “58″ of snow and gusts to 71 mph!”

  1. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

    That’s simply unbelievable. Our 15 inches in 2011 nearly paralyzed us for a couple of days. I can’t even imagine what that would be like.
    Please..let’s hope this isn’t a sign of what’s to come this Winter….


    1. Skot says:

      It is Tom….Bill has been hinting at that for months now.

    2. kevin. w says:

      Hurry SNOW!

  2. Cindy says:

    But the artic circle is warmer…but does that really mean global warming when we are forecast to be colder?

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      The Arctic (above 80 degrees latitude) had their coldest summer since 1958 and the Arctic ice extent is up 58% from on year ago: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

  3. Jen in Middleville says:

    That is…just wow. Still hope we get some of that! I’m ready to be snowed in for a couple days.

  4. Travis (Oakland County) says:

    91 degrees in Washington DC, F-4 tornadoes in Nebraska, record floods in the southeast, large fires in Southern California, blizzard in South Dakota… Talk about extreme weather last week.

    South Dakota went from blizzard to 60′s on Sunday to 70′s on Monday! So that snow did not last long.

    1. DF (SE Mich) says:

      About time, the weather has been the farthest you can get from extreme all summer long.

      1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        I guess if you exclude the hottest winter on record in Australia, the “Biblical” floods in Colorado, the massive wildfires out west, the all-time June heat record in Death Valley, the three EF5 tornadoes out west, the record heat in the Pacific Northwest, or the all-time heat records broken throughout Asia, Europe, and Alaska ;)

        1. DF (SE Mich) says:

          Cherry picking random events and violating your own commandments again. If I post tens of millions of average sunny days does that make it non-extreme? ;)

          There has only been one EF5 tornado confirmed this year.

          I’m not sure you ever read what Bill posts about the lack of fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, severe weather, etc.

        2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          Cherry picking? More like proving it hasn’t really been a quiet summer at all if you’re looking outside of Michigan. Lots of extreme events.

          There were three confirmed EF5 tornadoes so far in 2013. There were zero in 2012 after 2011′s record breaking EF5 output. There are long stretches in history were there were zero of these for years.


        3. Bill Steffen says:

          There has only been one EF5 tornado in 2013. The EF5 winds in the other 2 cases are not confirmed (Doppler estimates only) and they are above ground level. Two of the three tornadoes Travis attempted to classify as EF5 are really EF3, This is from the link that Travis provided. Read on:

          2013 Bennington–Minneapolis, Kansas tornado – Mobile Doppler radar indicated winds of 247 mph (400 km/h), well into the EF5 range; however, only EF3 damage was observed to structures that had withstood winds from the tornado for about 45 minutes, indicating that these winds likely did not reach the surface.
          May 31 2013 El Reno, Oklahoma 8 2013 El Reno tornado – Rating based solely on mobile Doppler radar measurements, which recorded winds up to 295 mph (470 km/h). The most significant structural damage was rated EF3, as the tornado did not strike any buildings when the EF5 winds were recorded. On August 30, 2013, nearly three months after the event, the NWS downgraded the tornado from EF5 to EF3 based solely on the structural damage it caused.

          There have been worse floods in Colorado. The number of wildfires this year in the U.S. is the lowest of any year since 1984. Death Valley came within 5 degrees of record of 134 in 1910! So, it’s not as hot as it was over 100 years ago. Global temperatures have been flat for over a decade.

        4. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          Both were rated EF5 by radar and are a part of the EF5 database.

          Funny Bill. You left off certain sentences from the tornado database. Such as:

          “Joshua Wurman, creator of the mobile Doppler radar, stated that had the tornado occurred in a populated area, there would have been EF5 damage.”

          I don’t think it’s prudent to throw out rural tornadoes simply because they had no opportunity to create EF5 structural damage, but we’ll agree to disagree.

        5. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Since when is Wikipedia an official source for anything?

          From the SPC:

          NOTE: Since the (E)F-scale is a subjective damage assessment tool, official NWS ratings (as logged in Storm Data and in the NSSFC/SPC database) may differ on occasion from those of other tornado databases, such as those of the Tornado Project or University of Chicago.

          Interesting that they use the word “subjective.”

        6. yooper4021 says:

          I’d love to hear the answer to your question Mark….but I’m not holding my breath.

        7. Jeff from Ada says:

          Travis why do you comment on bills blog? You do nothing but ramble on about stuff you know nothing about! Let the experts do their jobs! And global warming does not exist !!!

        8. DF (SE Mich) says:

          Once again NOAA and the NWS only apply when they are convienent… Only one confirmed EF5 in 2013 per NWS. Talking points don’t really need fact checking I guess. Just lie repeatedly and it is real…

        9. INDY says:


        10. Travis (Oakland County) says:

          LOL Some of you guys are wound much too tightly! Everything is one big dispute. Liar? Wow.

          Here’s a link straight from NOAA and the NWS listing the other tornado as EF5:


          Here’s an updated statement from NWS saying it had upgraded it to an EF5:


        11. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          As per the SPC, the ratings are merely subjective.

        12. Bill Steffen says:

          The El Reno tornado is officially an EF3: http://digitalmeteorologist.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/elrenotornado/ There was only one EF5 tornado this year and that was Moore, Oklahoma. That tornado was not the worst tornado ever to hit Moore, Oklahoma.

          You can’t start classifying tornadoes based on estimated winds aloft and compare them to tornadoes rated on ground damage. It’s apples and oranges. Based on the consistent record of ground damage there was ONE EF5 tornado in 2013 and that was Moore, OK – and that wasn’t even the worst tornado to hit Moore OK in the last 15 years (the 5/3/99 twister was stronger and caused more fatalities).

    2. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Gotta love the seasonal changes.

  5. DF (SE Mich) says:

    Lots of frost in A2 this morning where it fell to 33° this morning.

  6. Michael (Berrien county) says:

    I’m so ready for some weather like this….. something different than this lame, dull, ho-hum forecast we have for the next 7 days…. sunny days & clear nights with highs upper 60′s to low 70′s & lows upper 40′s to low 50′s. BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      I was thinking the same thing. The weather has been boring. However, this next week will be awesome for the fall colors. No winds or heavy rains to knock the leaves off. It is going to be beautiful!

  7. DF (SE Mich) says:

    The latest run of the GFS it looking cooler than it has been, back to average next week Tuesday. It was pretty warm in the runs yesterday beyond that. Who knows…

    1. Michael (Berrien county) says:

      Latest 12Z GFS has a major storm passing thru the midwest around the 15th with some really chilly air by around the 19th & beyond…. but of course don’t forget, last week it was also advertising a monster storm tracking just to our southeast with a major wind/rain/snow event for us this Fri. So much for that storm now though. We’ll see what happens though. The Euro outlook from accuweather has us mostly near normal from about the 20th until the 1st few days of Nov, with a mention of a colder pattern beyond that though… so yeah we’ll have to wait & see. http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-blogs/anderson/coldest-air-to-remain-over-asia-for-much-of-october/18594318

      1. Jim S (Saugatuck Twp) says:

        Seems like every fall, the long range GFS brings in cold air sooner…but it rarely seems to verify. It’s been showing a cold blast for the last few weeks, but were still warm. At some point, it may be right.

      2. Travis (Oakland County) says:

        First it was the beginning of October, then it was October 11th, then it was October 17th, now it’s late October…. Zzzzzz

        Reminds me of last winter already!

        1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

          Gosh, I hope so!

  8. Barry in Zeeland says:

    I find it amazing they had that much snow, and then 2 days later it’s back in the 60′s and 70′s. That’s a good sign for us. Another winter where any snow we get is GONE within 2 days!!

    1. Travis (Oakland County) says:

      Would have been a cool period for a time-lapse (can’t find any)!

      It should also be noted that the Black Hills in South Dakota is at 7,200 feet where September and October snows are commonplace… just not that amount in such a short time period! Further north in Fargo, for instance, they were still in the 40′s and 50′s.

      1. yooper4021 says:

        The Black Hills are 7,200 feet at their peak; much of that area is at a far lower elevation. Rapid City, for example, is at 3,200 feet…and they broke both daily and monthly snowfall records (for October) by a large margin.


        1. Irish coffee says:

          Harney Peak!! Climbed it..ok, brisk walk up back in ’98(Aug.) Good times!!

    2. Matt (Spring Lake) says:

      Really? Basing the winter off of a several day period in South Dakota? lol I hope you were kidding…

      1. SBPortage002 says:

        Can’t really compare South Dakota to Michigan…both places usually have different weather.

    3. TomKap (Michigan St. & Fuller) Grand Rapids says:

      Yes! HURRY APRIL!

  9. Judy says:

    Makes me shiver just thinking about it, let alone seeing a picture of it. PLEASE let them be wrong about how cold/snowy our winter is supposed to be!

  10. Michael (Berrien county) says:

    C’mon Farmers’ almanac!!…. let it be so! http://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather/2013/08/25/2014-us-winter-forecast/

    1. Rocky (Rockford) says:


  11. Rocky (Rockford) says:

    You can not believe a word that Travis utters. He is constantly cherry picking data and changing facts to suit his global warming fantasy!!! Bring on the COLD and SNOW!

    1. Rodey (Rockford) says:

      You also cannot believe a word Rocky says. All he says is the same thing over and over without using any facts what so ever to suit his cold and snow fantasy. Thanks for listening.

  12. INDY says:

    Bill sad to come on your blog and read the same old jazz from the same old class!! Where did all the good bloggers go????? INDYY

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      Some are still here INDY – and that includes you.

  13. michael g (SE GR) says:

    Let’s just lock in that run of the CFS and go with it. :-)

  14. Jack says:

    TIGERS WIN !!!! ” Bout Gave Me aaa HEART- ATTACK!!!!! Stay Cued….. :-)

    1. Brian(Grandville) says:

      They pulled out a big win. Maybe the bats are finally heating up, lets hope so. Lets get through the A’s, and got to bean town maybe.

    2. Brian(Grandville) says:


  15. Barry in Zeeland says:

    While everyones bickering about the heat waves and snow that isn’t coming, look up to the North. Northern Lights are dimmly glowing! Predictions are looking good for later tonight. Good link here:


    1. Jack says:

      Thanks for the Link Barry !!!! Staying Cued …..” Skyward”. ……. ;-)

  16. Ed (Coloma) says:

    There are still a lot of apples to pick so lets hold off on winter for a few more weeks.

    1. Mark (East Lansing) says:

      Fantastic year for apples. I think we’ve eaten more apples the season than the last three combined.

      1. Jack says:

        Yes Indeed GREAT Apples This Year !! And Prices are Great as Well !! Thanks To All The Farmers Out There !!! Michigan Apples are The Best !!! Stay Cued…. ;-)

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I have a friend in Rapid City….six of her horses were killed in the storm. =( I’m surprised the news isn’t reporting more on this event. It was pretty intense.

    1. Bill Steffen says:

      If the horses were killed by “global warming” it’d be the lead story on the Nightly News. Also, geography is a big factor…a storm in Washington DC or New York that affects the news media is a BIG DEAL, but a similar one that goes thru Rapid City, St. Louis or Milwaukee might not get noticed.

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