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Cool and Wet June

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It is hard to believe that it is already July and that we have surpassed the halfway point of 2013. We have seen plenty of crazy weather over the last 6 months and June didn’t disappoint.  After a year full of terrible drought we have slowly begun our crawl back to normal. To start the year 86% of the State of South Dakota was marred in a severe drought while 60% was in an exceptional drought. We had a lot of improvements starting April when we got stuck into an active pattern. June brought the biggest relief to the drought as some spots picked up close to 6 inches of rain!

The eastern portion of the state as well as northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota picked up the most of the rain as places like Sisseton, Watertown, and Marshall picked up over 5 inches. Brookings checked in as the big winner with 5.88” of rain which is more than 1.5” above normal! Winner finished 0.14” below their normal on precipitation on the month. Pierre finished 0.61” below normal on their rainfall as well. Here is a look at some other totals across Dakotaland over the month of June.

Areas West River still sit in a state of drought after receiving less than two inches of rain during the month of June.  The following pictures show the changes and progress that was made in the drought across the area from the beginning to the end of June. To start the month (6/4 – first drought reading of June) the state of South Dakota had 10.27% of the state in severe drought. That number went down to 5.24% on the last reading which was June 25th. That is a decrease of close to half! To start the month only 24.44% of the state was not in any state of dryness or drought but by the end of the month 45.65% of the state was not in any state of dryness or drought, which is about twice as much as the start of the month. This is all really great news.

While we saw plenty of rain the one thing that lacked this June compared to last year was the heat. The average high temperature for June finished as 77.0°F which was below normal by 2.3-degrees. The monthly average temperature (the highs and lows averaged together) finished as 69.9° F. That is below normal by 0.9°F. This makes it 4 straight months that we have experienced below than normal temperatures and we haven’t had a stretch like that since March – June of 2011 exactly two years ago!

What a difference a year makes. When you compare this year to last June it feels much colder and wetter. Last year we had the 2nd driest June in Sioux Falls history as we only saw 0.74”  of rain. The average high temperature last year was 84.7°F which is more than 7.5-degrees warmer than this year. In 2012 we had 6 days at or above 90 while this year we didn’t see a single day of 90-degree temperatures. Winner  had 14 days above the 90-degree mark last year including two days above 100-degrees and only saw one day this year above 90°F!

Now shifting the focus to July which is historically the warmest month of the year. Sioux Falls average temperature  during the month is 73.0°F while Winner is 76.3°F. The average high temperature in Sioux Falls is around 85.6 while the average low sits around 60°F. Remember to always take the sunscreen with you as well as a pair of sun glasses to help protect your sun and eyes! Also remember to drink plenty of water as you can become dehydrated quickly in the heat. Heat is the number one killer amongst weather related deaths so make sure to take extra precaution on hot & muggy days!
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