Record Warmth Likely to End This Week

Some Places Could Hit the 70s and 80s!

This winter has no doubt been a snowy one across the Sioux Empire as most places in southeast South Dakota, northwest Iowa, and southwest Minnesota are already past their respective seasonal snow fall average. Sioux Falls has already amassed 50.7” of snow, which is more than five inches above the seasonal average. However, most of the remaining snow will be gone as early as Thursday or Friday as warmer temperatures scoot into the region.


Image Courtesy: Sioux Falls National Weather Service

The National Weather Service reported Wednesday that snow depth across the area is heaviest in southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa where some places still measure 9.0”! As you get closer to the Missouri River, snow depth drastically decreases and only around 45% of South Dakota has snow on the ground, but things are expected to change drastically the next 48 hours.

A ridge of high pressure (the arch in the jet stream) and warmth has been building to our west the last couple of days and is expected to slide over our area starting early Thursday. Places in central South Dakota and northern Nebraska will likely break records with the warm temperatures which are expected to climb into the low to mid 70s! To put into perspective how unusual this warmth is, Winner’s record high temperature for February 18th is only 62°, but the expected high temperature is in the low 70s! Valentine’s record high is 71° and Chamberlain’s is 57°, both of which are forecasted to fall on Thursday.

The jet will become more zonal on Friday, meaning the pattern will be more west to east than wavy, which means we won’t see the drastic difference in temperatures across the area, but things are still likely to stay warm! Friday’s forecast in Sioux Falls calls for 53° which would be the first day of 50° or higher since December 10th! In places like Brookings, it has been a little longer with the last 50° day being November 18th!

The big warmth will last into the first half of the weekend, but we will get closer to normal by early next week. However, all seven days in the forecast bring us above freezing temperatures!

Enjoy the warmth and get outside! Send us your pictures of how you are enjoying the warm up via Facebook and Twitter!

-Brandon Spinner
Chief Meteorologist