Snow brings beauty…

(Photo by David Lias)

It may not have been a white Christmas, but it was a white New Year.

But although 5 inches of snow fell in Vermillion last week, that could translate to only a quarter-inch of moisture.

"We don't know exactly how much water was in the last couple inches you received, but in the first three inches that fell, there was only 14 hundredths," Phil Schumacher, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls said last Friday.

Although some people won't want to hear it, Vermillion's ag producers will need "a lot more rain or snow," Schumacher said.

"The biggest precipitation that Vermillion received was with the rainfall on Dec. 15, and fortunately, I think a lot of that soaked in, which is good for the farmers," he said. "But there's such a deficit right now in southeastern South Dakota and northeastern Nebraska in terms of rainfall that it's going to take a lot of snow over the winter and spring rains to really make that up.

"Anything we get helps, but this by itself is not going to make a huge difference," he said.

Last week's snowfall brought the area total for the season up to eight and a half inches.

"You're ahead of last year, for what it's worth," Schumacher said. "Through the end of December last year, there was a total of 3 inches that Vermillion had received."

Unfortunately, this trend looks like it will continue.

"It's looking pretty dry," Schumacher said. "We're looking at a cooler, drier pattern right now. On the horizon there's really nothing expect6ed for the area."

Just the same, Schumacher encouraged travelers to be wary on the roads.

As the snow was lacking in moisture, it is very light and fluffy, which could lead to drifting. It could melt during the day, but then refreeze at night.

"If people are driving, especially on east/west roads, just be aware that there could be some slick spots," Schumacher said.

Area snowfall box info (in inches):

Parker – 3.5

Akron, IA – 4

Vermillion – 5

Sioux City – 5.2

Emerson, NE – 5.5

Gayville – 6

Yankton – 7

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