Very Cold March ends on a high note.
by Brandon Spinner, Meteorologist
April 02, 2013 10:00 AM
The month of March in Sioux Falls can be characterized as one word: COLD. March closed its books on Sunday by recording a high temperature of 43°F, which was only the 7th time we eclipsed the 40-degree mark on the month. This is much different than last March when we only failed to reach 40 degrees FOUR times! 2012 featured 25 days with a temperature of more than 50°, 22 days of more than 60’s, 13 days of at least 70°F, and we eclipsed the 80-degree mark four times! We did see the 60's twice to end out 2013's March or we would have been even colder! 2013’s March goes down in the books with an average temperature of 27.5°F, which is 5.4-degrees below normal. Compared to March of 2012, which went down as the warmest March on record with an average temperature of 49.8°F, March of 2013 is 22.3-degrees colder!Not only was it cold in Sioux Falls, but spots across the Sioux Empire were even colder! Snow cover affected a lot of temperatures for the north as places like Sisseton and Aberdeen were below normal by more than 10-degrees on the month and had average temperatures of less than 20-degrees. March goes down as the first month to finish with a below normal average temperature since October of 2012. The last time before October we had a below normal month was September of 2011, making it 15 of the last 18 months that Sioux Falls finished with a temperature at or above normal. April has already started below normal, and if it were to finish the month with a colder than normal average temperature, it would be the first time since May/June of 2011 that we experienced back to back months of below normal temperatures.
Of course those 15 months of warmer temperatures accompanied with limited moisture led to a major drought for more than 60% of the country. Sioux Falls sits right in the middle of that and is experiencing an exceptional drought. Since June 1st of 2012, Sioux Falls is close to 11.5 inches below normal on precipitable water. Precipitation has been a little better to start the year, but we are still below normal by a little more than ¾ of an inch. The state of South Dakota currently is coverer entirely by a moderate drought. On top of that, 81% of the state is in a severe drought, 65% in an extreme drought, and 22% in an exceptional. It’s not much better for Iowa which has 48% of the state in a severe drought or worse, or for Minnesota who has 67% of the state with a severe drought or worse.
Courtesy: droughtmonitor.unl.edu – U.S. Drought MonitorThere is some hope at the end of the tunnel! We bring a chance for some rain into the Sioux Empire on Friday night into Saturday. However, not much precipitation is expected to fall then. A second storm that could make impact Sunday afternoon into Monday looks potentially better, with the possibility to bring some soaking rains to areas that really need it. It will take several of these systems to relieve us from these drought conditions, but any precipitation at this point is a good thing. We will continue to update you on the possibility of this storm as we receive better data. and as always; you can catch the most up-to-date information regarding your forecast right here on KDLT and KDLT.com.