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Goodbye Summer; Welcome Autumn

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As the sun sets this Friday evening over the South Dakota horizon, it is also the last sunset of the summer. The actual first day of meteorological fall was at the first of the month, but Saturday marks the first day of the astronomical fall—better known as the Fall Equinox.

So what is the Fall Equinox? Well, for the past few weeks; you’ve probably noticed that the days have been getting shorter and shorter—as they should at this time of year. The Summer Solstice, or the first day of summer, is the day with the longest amount of sunlight. Ever since then, the daylight we receive has continued to get shorter and shorter. Our days will continue to get shorter and nights will continue to get longer as we get closer to the Winter Solstice; but Saturday, there will be an equal amount of day as there is night. There will be 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night.

If you didn’t understand that in words, here’s a look at how things work in the graphic below. Throughout the year, the earth wobbles back and forth. Tomorrow, on the first day of fall; it will be halfway between each tilt. All over the world, people will experience the same amount of day as night. From now until the Winter Solstice, days will continue to grow shorter north of the Equator and longer to the south of the Equator.

Just for the record, here’s a look at our high temperatures on the last day of summer across South Dakota and the rest of the nation. Thanks to a little extra sunshine across the west, places like Valentine were able to warm up to a whopping 78! However, that’s pretty cool compared to the majority of the country. Phoenix managed to hit 105 with many other locations to our south topping out in the 80s and 90s.

As for the weather on the first day of fall… Ironically, the first morning of fall will also be one of the chilliest mornings we have seen for some time as another cold front continues to work its way south. In fact, there are freeze watches and warnings in effect for much of the area. It’s important to cover up any plants that may be vulnerable to the colder temperatures at this time of year. Here’s a look at the freeze watches and warnings for Friday night and Saturday morning.

Here’s a look at temperatures just above the surface for the first three mornings of fall. Notice that Sunday morning looks to be slightly chillier than Saturday morning just before temperatures begin to rebound once again.




Unfortunately, rain chances continue to look slim as we go into the next seven days. However, as we continue into the new season; temperatures look to stay pretty much steady over the next few days. Be sure to stay tuned to KDLT and KDLT.com for the latest updates on your forecast.
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