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Unseasonable Temps Nearly Break Records

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Over the past couple of nights, a sunset like the one you see in this picture sent by Paul Soderquist in Lyon County, Iowa didn’t lead to a bitterly cold night like it was earlier this week. Friday morning’s low temperatures stood in the teens for most places, then only 24 hours later; we were about 15 to 20 degrees warmer.

When the sun came up, though; we obviously warmed up rather quickly thanks to the pattern we’ve been in over the last day or so. If you didn’t know any better, you’d look at Saturday’s high temperatures across the country and think it was October rather than December. It was certainly warmer than usual and another day welcomed by those who enjoy working outside or just being outdoors. Of course, it isn’t unusual for parts of the south to see temperatures well in the 70s and 80s occasionally through the winter months, but even parts of the Upper Midwest topped 70. North Platte, Neb. tied a record of 71 set back in 1994. Here’s a closer look at Saturday’s high temperatures across our region.

Some of these temperatures could have been even higher if it wasn’t for the foggy conditions Saturday morning. However, if the fog had hung around any later; these temperatures could have been much lower! As we mentioned in our previous post, this weekend’s temperature forecast was highly dependent on fog development and how long it lasted.

Here’s a look at visibilities observed around 10 p.m. Friday evening. Notice that visibilities were much lower across the southeastern portion of the region, and as you went west; the fog was not as thick. Thanks to southeasterly flow from the Gulf of Mexico, dew points were able to increase high enough to tie with the temperatures. This allowed for fog to develop, and of course that occurred more readily across the southeast where moisture availability was greater.

Now, go back and compare that map with Saturday’s high temperatures. Since fog was thicker across the south and east, places in the west received much more daytime heating allowing temperatures to start rising earlier in the morning than in the east. This, a more southwesterly component in wind direction, and extra cloud cover allowed temperatures in places like Winner and Chamberlain to be a solid 30 degrees above average. Other locations were at least 20 degrees above average, and a little extra cloud cover across the north allowed temperatures to be only slightly more seasonable compared to the rest of us.

So as a result of some extra cloud cover and morning clouds, Saturday was not a day of broken records in our region. Here’s a look at Saturday’s almanac showing where the averages stand in Sioux Falls and where the records stand at this time. Although these data vary from location to location, this is a pretty good representation of where our temperatures should be at this time of year.

Now, the big question is whether the warm, pleasant temperatures will last much longer. Well, Sunday is actually looking even warmer than Saturday so I wouldn’t be surprised to see some records broken in our region; however it will be cutting it close. Either way, it will still be unseasonably warm. Beyond Sunday, it looks like clouds will begin rolling in along a weak cold front, which will drop temperatures only slightly as we go into the first of our work week.

But even with temperatures forecast for this week, we still look to stay above average over the next few days. Here's a look at our 7-Day Forecast as of Sunday night. We’re not expecting to break any records over the course of the next seven days, however; you may have a little more time to do any last minute yard work, Christmas decorating, dog walking, or whatever it is you do outside before the next big cool down at the end of this week.

As for rain chances, here’s how things look as of now. But of course, as we all know too well, South Dakota’s weather can change in the blink of an eye. Be sure to stay tuned to KDLT and KDLT.com as Cody, Kelly, and I keep you updated.
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Sioux Falls, SD
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