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First Week Of Fall Has Come And Gone



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We’ve officially completed the first week of autumn and we’ve seen some rather extreme temperatures in just seven days. Believe it or not, we’ve gone from breaking record lows to seeing above average temperatures. It seemed like a boring week when it came to forecasting, but looking back over the past few days; it’s actually been somewhat eventful.

Boring or not, you probably didn’t hear very many complaints about the weather. The record breaking cold temperatures didn’t last long enough for people to hardly notice, and the above average highs later in the week were nothing compared to the highs we’ve seen all summer. However, not only is it interesting that we’ve seen temperatures on both ends of the spectrum in a week; but when taking averages into perspective, we’ve seen above average highs and slightly below average lows almost every day this week.

So how can you have above average highs and below average lows throughout an entire week? Well, a lot of it has to do with this boring weather pattern. Even after months of little rainfall, this week has been one of the driest when you take humidity into account. This low humidity and lack of cloud cover obviously helps to heat us up during the day, but actually cools us down at night.

First of all, here’s a look at this week’s high temperatures and departures from average in Pierre, Aberdeen, and Sioux Falls. Notice that over the past couple of days, we’ve seen temperatures almost 20 degrees above average for this time of year. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why this was—sunny days!







At night however, the clear skies actually help cool us down very quickly because all the daytime heating is able to escape back into the atmosphere. A cloudy night would trap that heat under the clouds, causing overnight lows to possibly be a good 10 degrees warmer. On top of that, winds have been rather calm preventing the motion of air molecules from producing any extra heat while losing it at the same time. The combination of these two factors led to record breaking lows at the first of the week, and slightly below average lows throughout much of the week.







Of course, the above average temperatures haven’t stopped the fall colors from catching our attention. Just by stepping outside, it’s hard to miss the brilliant yellow colors on the trees around you. However, we aren’t seeing the brilliant colors that we could be seeing this year thanks to this year’s lack of rainfall.

Not much has changed in this week’s drought monitor. We’re experiencing exceptional drought conditions in all four corners of our region, but notice how these drought maps correlate with our fall foliage maps. Areas experiencing the most extreme drought conditions are barely seeing the fall colors while those who haven’t suffered from the most intense lack of rainfall as the rest of us are already seeing fall foliage at its peak. In fact, it’s almost exactly proportional if you focus on Minnesota. Areas in the Minnesota arrowhead have gotten plenty of rainfall this year compared to the rest of the region, and that’s the place to go if you want to find fall foliage at its best in the Upper Midwest.











Of course, whether we’re seeing patchy foliage or foliage at its peak, all of it is beautiful! For the past few days, we’ve been asking viewers to send us your pictures of any fall foliage you’ve seen—and we’ve gotten a few. Here’s a look at some of the pictures we’ve seen from right here in our region and what we’ve collected from our neighbors to the northeast.









Of course, we’re still collecting pictures! Fall is far from over and we’d like to see what you’re seeing. Break out those camera phones, disposable cameras, or whatever devices you’re using these days and show us your photography skills! You might just see your pictures on the air! Just follow the directions in the image below.

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