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Warmest Spring on Record, Potential Heat Wave This Weekend

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Well if you wanted a warmer spring then what we had this year, you would be asking for something that has never happened before.  For South Dakota and 30 other states, it was the warmest spring on record with the national average temperature over 5 degrees above the seasonal average. This makes it not only the warmest spring on record for the country, but spring 2012 marked the largest temperature departure from average of any season on record for the United States.  Below are several images that show how precipitation and temperatures faired across the country for both spring and the month of May as well as significant weather contributing factors for each region in the last image.

If you are wanting a break from these above average temperatures, you sure arent going to find it this weekend with highs soaring 15 to potentially 30 degrees above average.  Check out the 850mb temperatures for Saturday afternoon across the region.

You can see for yourself that numbers will be very warm some 5000 feet above the surface, which means it will be quite a bit warmer where we live on the surface.  Here are 2 different versions of what may happen on Saturday.  The first is from a widely used computer forecasting model and the second is our KDLT in house forecast model.  Both are very good at different aspects of forecasting the weather, however in this case, are very different.

Notice that the first model shows temperatures across the area mostly in the 90’s.  But the KDLT in house model shows temperatures in the 90’s and well above 100 in the southwest.  So why the big difference??? One main reason…. Moisture.  What you are not seeing are the predicted dew points for Saturday with the first model (the one in the 90’s) showing dew points in the upper 60’s and low 70’s.  The second has dew points in the upper 50’s to mid 60’s.  The amount of moisture in the air can have a HUGE impact on overall high temperatures.  But don’t let that fool you because its often that the 95° high with a 70° dew point feels hotter then the 105° high with a 55° dew point.  So it really doesn’t matter where our highs end up, we just know at this point that it will be uncomfortably hot.  Stay cool!!!

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