After one of the coldest and snowiest Octobers on record, the Black Hills saw temperatures drop to the teens Monday while a light snowfall raised havoc on streets and highways.
Rapid City police said they were called to about a dozen weather-related traffic crashes over a two-hour period beginning around 8 a.m. on what would normally be a quiet Veterans Day holiday when schools and government offices are closed for the day.
The South Dakota Highway Patrol, meanwhile, responded to 10 non-injury crashes, according to Capt. Kevin Karley. The majority of those crashes happened on Interstate 90 near Rapid City.
The slip-sliding on the roads occurred as temperatures dipped from an overnight high of 28 degrees to a mid-morning low of 16 degrees, before climbing back into the low 20s. Six-tenths of an inch of snow fell at Rapid City Regional Airport and five-tenths at the National Weather Service office in Rapid City before the snow tapered off mid-day.
A gradual warming is expected across the region this week before another cold snap arrives Sunday, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Katie Pojorlie.
"There is a little chance for rain showers or a rain and snow mix across southwest South Dakota, northeast Wyoming and the Black Hills on Wednesday," Pojorlie said.
Meanwhile, October was a record-breaking month for precipitation across most of western South Dakota.
It also was the fourth coolest October in Rapid City since 1942, according to the High Plains Regional Climate Center. The average October temeperatures were 4 to 6 degrees below the norm of 42.6 degrees.
Not only were snowfall records buried, but several locations across the region received more precipitation in October than in any other month this year.
New October monthly snowfall records were set at Pactola Dam (47.2 inches), Spearfish (46), Belle Fourche (32), Oelrichs (28), Lemmon (23.5), Newell (22.6), Rapid City (20.8), and Dupree (15.7).
The advent of cold weather has prompted the Rapid City Fire Department to warn residents to inspect their home-heating systems and pay close attention to how they use other heat sources, including wood stoves, electric space heaters, kerosine heaters and fireplaces.