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South Dakota Sees Record Breaking Lows

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Numerous cities across South Dakota broke records Saturday night, as in record low temperatures. According to the National Weather Service, that happens only once every eight years.

Around every 20 years or so we experience a weather pattern that creates extremely cooler temperatures in July like the ones we’ve had. And while the cool down is a nice break from the hot, humid weather we’ve been experiencing, if it gets any colder, it could lead to some trouble.

“The high was 69 degrees here in Sioux Falls, and the low Sunday morning was about 44 degrees. So for a high temperature to be below 70 degrees in July only happens about once every four years or so,” said Meteorologist Marc Chenard with the National Weather Service.

Chenard said temperatures only really drop when there are clouds in the sky, or after a storm. But it hasn't rained, and the sun is shining, so what gives?

“Normally in the summer all of that is kept up in Canada, but this week it dipped down into the lower part of the country,” Chenard said.

That would be cold air in the upper atmosphere, and the reason why temps have been cool during the day, and even cooler at night.

“The normal for this time of the year is right around 60 degrees, so we were quite a bit below normal,” said Chenard.
With Sioux Falls making a new record with a low of 44 degrees, other areas were even colder. Chenard said some places even dropped into the thirties. And that could only mean one thing, frost.

“At this point, yep, if we were to have a frost, and hopefully we won't, crops would all die and it would be a disaster,” said Chad Anderson, an agronomist with Pioneer.
On Sunda, Anderson was enjoying the cooler weather as he and his family celebrated his daughter's third birthday. But Anderson said while the break from the heat is nice, for the farmers he works with, it’s not making their already tough season any easier.
“The crops are right on pace for what they should be on average, their behind last year obviously, but in general we are in pretty good shape as long as we can turn up the heat for the rest of the summer,” Anderson said.
Anderson said farmers need at least two more months of heat to get a really good crop. As for Chenard, he said Mother Nature may just give farmers the other thing they need to keep their crop on track.
“It looks like we may have a chance getting in a period where there's a chance for above normal precipitation,” said Chenard.

Chenard said it’s common to see some rain drops after a cooler weather pattern.
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