Blizza-cane: Minnesotans survive Black Hills Megastorm trapped in RV

They’re calling it The Black Hills ‘Megastorm.’

That’s the term thrown out by the Rapid City, S.D., National Weather Service office to describe the second highest three-day snowfall total ever recorded in the Black Hills Region. ‘Blizza-cane’ might work too.  The Black Hills are still digging out and melting out from as much as 4 feet of snow and near hurricane force winds last weekend.

The storm nearly buried the entrance to the Rapid City NWS.

(Image: Rapid City NWS)

The fresh heavy snow cover is clearly visible from space.

Snow cover visible from space. (NASA MODIS Terra image from UW Madison)

Rapid City’s 19 inches of snow Friday smashed the all time October record for the most snow in one day. The the 23.1 inch storm total smashed the previous snowfall record for the entire month of October.

Image: Rapid City NWS

An incredible 4 feet of snow came down near Deadwood, and many snowfall totals in the Black Hills exceeded 2 to 3 feet. Winds gusted to over 70 miles per hour making the blizzard like a combined blizzard-severe thunderstorm-near hurricane at times.

Here’s the list of snowfall totals and wind reports from the Rapid City NWS.

Image: Rapid City NWS

The violent storm knocked out power, and NOAA Weather Radio signals and weather stations in the Black Hills. Here’s the damage report from the Rapid City NWS.

Image: Rapid City NWS

Minnesotans ride out the storm in RV

Minnesota can thank our lucky weather stars we were on the warm side of the weekend storm. But some Minnesotans drove right into the heart of the storm, and rode out near hurricane force wind gusts and 3 to 4 feet of snow in an RV.

Linda Osburn of Garrison, Minnesota sent me word that her husband and friends rode out the intense storm in an RV in the Black Hills. Thankfully, they weathered the storm in good shape.


 My husband Paul Hardenberg of Garrison, MN, and Dave and JoAnn Moe of Outing, MN  have been hunkered down in an RV just south of Rapid City, SD since last Thursday night.  They were luckier than most. The RV had a generator, and a propane heater.  The electricity was out over most of Western SD.

 They finally got out today for a Sunday Drive.  They saw over 70 dead cows in just a little distance.  This was part of a group of ~ 30.

 This storm is going to take a long time to recover from.

 Linda Osburn

P.S.  I am no longer so upset about not being able to go on this trip to SD.

Linda sends along this photo of some of the  numerous cattle who perished in the blizzard.

Blizzard claims cattle in Black Hills. (Image: Dave and JoAnne Moe)

The snow is melting quickly as temperatures rise into the 50s and 60s in the Black Hills Region.

Image: NOAA

The snow may be gone soon, but the memories of the ‘October Blizza-cane of 2013’ will live on in the Black Hills.

  • Starquest

    Rapid City always seems to have even more extreme, bizarre weather than the Twin Cities. It’s interesting that all their snowfall records have come in October and April, nowhere near the traditional winter months. At first that seems counterintuitive, but I’m guessing it can be explained by the big storms that are whipped up in Oct/Apr due to seasonal changes and huge temperature gradients across the country. Something along those lines anyway.