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A Very Cool July

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Wow, we are already in August! Closing the books on July we take a look back at the month that it was weather-wise and boy it was an interesting one.

To start the month of July we had some pretty warm temperatures. Although the first two days were technically below normal, (were 1 degree below our average each day) we still recorded 13 straight days with highs above 80 degrees. We had our fair share of warmth through the middle part of the month when some spots in the Missouri River Valley hit 100-degrees and saw heat indices approach 105°F! That heat wave was short lived as we finished the month off with 9 straight days below normal. We saw 16 days with temperatures below normal, 11 days above normal, and 4 days with exactly normal temperatures. (In Sioux Falls.)

Our average temperature this year in the month of July was 72.2°F which was 0.8° below our normal of 73.0°F. Last July went down as the 2nd warmest July in Sioux Falls history with an average temperature of 81.3°F. In 2012 we saw 22 days at or above 90-degrees 6 of which were above 100-degrees! This year we only reached the 90-degree mark 3 times! Here’s a break down on where our high temperatures fell this year compared to last.

With July finishing cooler than normal, it now makes it 5 straight below average months in Sioux Falls. The last time that happened was February thru June of 2011, over two years ago! Speaking of cold air, we broke and tied a couple of records towards the end of the month. Aberdeen broke the old records for low temperatures on the 27th and 28th when they recorded temperatures of 41° and 40° respectively. The coldest temperature was recorded in Pipestone, MN which saw 38°F on the 28th of JULY! Here is a look at the records that were set across the area.

While a lot of the focus was on the cold, another big focus was the precipitation across the area, or lack thereof.  Most of the places across our region didn’t fair too well in the rain category. Some local spots were better off than others, like Kennebec, who saw a monthly total of 5.03” (2.54” above normal), and Timber Lake who saw 3.31” (0.69” above normal). Areas in south-central South Dakota and north-central Nebraska also saw a lot of rain. Some spots with 3-6 inches! Winner picked up 4.35” and Valentine measured 3.78”.  Below shows a picture of the rainfall across the area and also has a couple of plots of totals.

Much of the southeast stayed dry as Sioux Falls, Worthington and Sioux City all finished with monthly totals below ¾ of an inch. Sioux Fall’s total of 0.60” which was 2.49 inches below normal! Due to the minimal rainfall areas regressed back into drought to the southeast in counties like Lincoln, Minnehaha and Union. Some areas while not in a drought regressed back into a dry state like areas in southwest Minnesota, northwest Iowa, and north central South Dakota. Below, the last drought monitor outlook from June and the last outlook from July are pictured for comparison.

Turning the focus to August now. August is, on average, the second warmest month of the year with an average temperature of 70.73°F. The average high temperature is 84°F on the first of the month and is 79°F on the last day. We see our average low temperature range from 62°F (1st) to 56°F (31st). On average Sioux Falls sees around 3.05” of rain in the month of August. If August finishes with a below average monthly temperature it will mark the first time since 2009 that the months of June, July, and August finished below normal with their monthly average temperature. Long range models show that below normal temperatures are expected throughout the middle of the month.
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