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Warm & Windy Past, Another Hot Weekend Ahead

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The warm weather continues which is no big surprise considering our 7-day forecasts have looked more like May or June since March started, but the winds have certainly been something different as of late with gusts topping 50 mph in some spots over the course of a 48 hour period.  Now we are used to pretty big wind events in South Dakota, but this one lasted a bit longer then they normally do with gusts over 40 mph.  Typically we will get one day (maybe 12 hours or so) with winds over 40 and then they calm, but 2 straight days of winds nearly 50 mph has made for one wicked start to the workweek.  With the wind though, came more record high temperatures.  The highs for Monday are on the left along with the record highs for the date.  As you will notice, 5 cities broke records, one tied a record, and 3 were awfully close.  Now conditions are expected to cool a bit Wednesday but thankfully winds will be calming as well.  Take a peak at some of the wind gusts from this storm listed below.

Now, Wednesday will likely be the coolest day of the workweek, but just as temperatures try to rise Thursday, another wave will pull into the Dakotas, which will likely spark more showers and storms.  Now, at the moment there is a pretty big discrepancy in the forecasting computer models in exactly what will happen and when it will happen on Thursday.  But let me show you a couple examples.  Below are two different models from the same timeframe of Thursday morning.  These both show forecasted accumulated precipitation for the 6-hour period Thursday morning.

The first model shows a pretty widespread precipitation event with likely some sort of line of storms developing and rolling eastward.  The second model has very little in the way of precipitation likely showing just an isolated storm or two across the eastern part of SD.  This paints two very different pictures because the amount and timing of the precipitation will have a great deal to do with how warm we get on Thursday.  Let me show you.  So this first image is the forecasted high temperatures for our area by the same model that brings a more widespread precipitation event.

This second image is the forecasted high temperatures for our area by the same model that brings a far less amount of precipitation to our area Thursday morning.

Pretty easy to see the difference.  Obviously the more rain leads to cooler temperatures.  But the question we have to ask is which one of these models is correct? Or is either of them correct?  This is what can make forecasting so difficult.  But I have some good news. Regardless of what happens Thursday, we are in for another major warm up this weekend with highs possibly back to the 70’s and 80’s across the area.  Check out the forecasted 850mb temperatures for our area on Saturday vs. Wednesday.

A no brainer right?  So looks like we will be finishing out March on a very warm note… fitting though considering this will be one of the warmest March’s on record. Enjoy!

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Sioux Falls, SD
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