by Kelly Smith, Meteorologist
September 16, 2011 7:39 AM
Temperatures have been on a wild ride this week as we ease into the first weeks of Fall.
Temperatures at the end of last week started climbing towards the 90 degree mark thanks to high pressure. High's peaked at 90 degrees by the beginning of this week, before a cold front dropped temperatures 18 degrees Tuesday and another 18 degrees when a secondary cold front moved through by Thursday. A total of 36 degree's in 72 hours.
Morning Low's in Sioux Falls also dropped significantly from the mid 50's to 32 degree's. Thursday morning's low temperature of 32 degree's marked the first freeze of fall: 14 days earlier than the average first fall freeze.Record Low Temperatures also occured Thursday morning in Pierre and Sisseton. The low in Pierre thursday hit 32 degrees beating the previous record low temperature of 34 degreesset back in 1947.
Wild Temperature swings were also felt in Aberdeen, as temperatures dropped a total of 31 degrees in 96 hours. Temperatures rose 14 degrees above normal before falling 17 degrees below normal.
The most dramatic changes however, occured in Valentine Nebraska where high temperatures dropped 47 degrees in 72 hours!
With our average high temperatures still in the mid to upper 70's. The entire Sioux Empire experienced dramatically cooler than average temperatures making it feel more like the beginning of winter than the beginning of fall.
This early season freeze will also usher in the annual fall color change earlier than usual. Fall colors are just starting to turn in small patches.
With the first freeze occuring around 14 days earlier than usual we can expect to see fall colors peak a little earlier than usual as well. With the peak fall colors usually occuring in early October here in the Sioux Empire, we would not be surprised to see the fall colors start to turn sooner rather than later. The good news is that temperatures will be back around normal by the beginning of next week.