Is It March or May?
by Cody Matz
March 19, 2012 8:39 PM
The whirlwind of weather continues into another strange month. Most have been asking what happened to winter, but now it seems we have skipped spring altogether and gone right into summer. Hundreds of records are getting broken after serving up some of the warmest weather ever seen in the month of March. But the fact that we are this warm isn’t really the issue. We average at least one pretty good “heat wave” in this month every year, however that heat I talk about usually lasts a couple days with highs topping out in the 60’s and maybe even cracking a 70 somewhere. But this year is different. The “heat wave” has been more literal with day after day of temperatures in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s with many replacing winter coats for shorts and a t-shirt and some even having to turn on the AC. More records were broken today with highs in Sisseton and Watertown back into the 70’s which you can see highlighted in the picture on your left. But as you will see below, its not just the afternoon highs breaking records, it’s the overnight lows as well. In fact, several cities experienced their warmest low temperatures ever recorded in the month of March. But its not just South Dakota that’s getting the luxury of shorts and sunglasses, the eastern half of the country is baking under early summer like heat with 70’s and 80’s spreading all the way to the Canadian border. It was 83° today in Traverse City, Michigan, which is one of the snowiest and coldest places in the country. That shattered their old All-Time March record high by 8 degrees!! Not to mention, it was warmer in International Falls, MN (which has been nicknamed the countries ice box) then in Phoenix, AZ by 20 degrees. Just check out the high temperatures across the nation below.
As for our area there are a couple things I want to point out. First off, the three graphics below are the high temperatures during our March warm weather streak for Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, and Pierre. They also show the average highs and whether or not records were broken. Second, the information below those is from the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, which shows a bunch of records getting broken from 3 cities in our area, many of those records you might not even think of. Lastly, get a good look at the storms reports picture at the bottom. Burn that image in your head because if confirmed by a survey team, those tornadoes will go down as the earliest tornadoes ever recorded in South Dakota.