No, really, there is snow in the Hills
We had a nice dusting of snow overnight in the Black Hills. It kept drivers on their toes and warmed the hearts of winter-sports lovers throughout the region. Although it didn’t bring a lot of snow, conditions are still good.
According to this handy snow depth chart I found, much of the Black Hills are covered by 20 to 40 inches of snow. That’s plenty for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Meanwhile, the folks who groom the Black Hills snowmobile trials report good to excellent conditions over much of the system.
But the biggest problem for Black Hills snow lovers is perception. It’s hard to convince people we really have snow when Rapid City and points east have nary a white patch. KELO-TV recently did a story on the perception problem.
Indeed, this winter has been a bit on the dry side so far, but it could be that we’ve been a bit on the spoiled side. After all, it wasn’t that long ago (the winter of 2008-09) that Lead received a whopping 24 feet of snow in one winter. (Thompson Pass in Alaska hold the national record, 81 feet of snow in the winter of 1952-53.)
According to the Current Results website, Lead gets an average of 16 feet (197.5 inches) of snow in winter. Deadwood, just down the road, gets 101 inches (81/2 feet).
And it’s not too late. Lead still holds the single-storm record for snowfall — 103 inches. And you know the old saying: if you don’t like the weather in South Dakota, just wait a minute. We could wake up tomorrow and not be able to find our cars.