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Fall Ends Warm & Dry While Winter Brings Record Warmth

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Warm, and dry seems to be the new normal around the region as we end yet another season of extreme drought conditions and above average temperatures. Meteorological Fall runs from September 1st through November 30th. Fall is the season of extreme temperature swings and it is likely that our extremely dry conditions helped enhance the large increases and decreases in temperatures. This fall season started out extremely warm with the very first day of fall hitting 91 degrees. In contrast, the last day of fall reached 42 degrees and even that was above average. The warmest temperature reached 96 degrees on September 2nd, and the coolest temperature reached 12 on November 28th. That is a span of 84 degrees in just three months time!
The month of September started out very warm into the 90's and stayed above average for the majority of the month, with the exception of a few days when temperatures dipped into the 60's

October proved to be a roller coaster of a month with a wide range of temperatures. Many above average days were followed by several below average days. Temperatures peaked into the low 80's and even dropped into the 30's for a few days. October was also the month where we experienced our first snowfall.

Warm weather returned for November as temperatures stayed well above average for the majority of the month. Temperatures even rose to 70 degrees setting a new record for the latest 70 reading ever in Sioux Falls.

September remained the warmest month of fall with temperatures around 6 degrees above average. October became the first month in almost a year to have its average temperature below normal and November ended out the month warm, despite some very chilly temperatures at night.

One of the reasons temperatures were able to warm well above average was the fact that the climate was incredibly dry. We entered into fall already in a severe drought and continued the trend through November. There were only two days in the entire month of November where we saw measurable rain in Sioux Falls just adding more onto an already dire drought.

Each month in fall remained well below average for precipitation. Plunging our area even further into drought conditions.

In Sioux Falls, precipitation now reaches almost four inches below average.

The dry fall reached across our entire region with the majority of our cities well below average. Chamberlain had the lowest amount of precipitation for the fall with just over a half an inch, that is almost four and a half inches below normal.

Although some areas did see some precipitation, it was still well below where we should have been for the season. Despite seeing over three inches of precipitation during the fall in Brookings, the city was still almost two and a half inches below normal.

The dire drought situation is easily seen when you compare the percent of normal. Only Brookings and Sioux City had precipitation over half of normal. That is pretty dire considering many of our areas fell below 25 percent of normal.

The south central region of South Dakota really faired the worst with many of the cities at just over ten percent of normal.

Thanks in part to the very dry climate, temperatures are able to warm and cool very quickly. Temperatures once again broke records Sunday with widespread 60's and 70's. Sioux Falls missed two records by only two degrees. 63 degrees was not only the daily record high for Sunday but also the all-time record high for December.

Aberdeen set a daily record high beating their previous record from 1998 by two degrees.

Pierre beat their daily record high by four degrees.

Siseton barely beat their daily record high by only one degree breaking a 71 year record.

Watertown tied their record of 56 degrees.

December, like the fall has started off very mild but things are changing quickly. We are currently watching and tracking two systems that are forecasted to come in for the weekend and could produce some accumulating snow.

Behind these systems looks like a very significant arctic cold blast that will drop temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees by next week. We will continue to track these systems and update you on any changes as we head through the week. Stay tuned!
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