71 temp in Mitchell sets all-time mark for ThanksgivingThursday’s high temperature surpassed the previous high for Nov. 24 of 70 degrees, set in 1923. The record low for the day was recorded in 1985 when temperatures dropped to 12 degrees below zero.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
Turkeys weren’t all that got cooked this Thanksgiving.
The Mitchell area felt the heat from record-high temperatures Thursday, with the National Weather Service reporting a record-high of 71 degrees.
Thursday’s high temperature surpassed the previous high for Nov. 24 of 70 degrees, set in 1923. The record low for the day was recorded in 1985 when temperatures dropped to 12 degrees below zero.
That wasn’t a concern this year, as the day was warm and sunny across South Dakota, with highs in the 60s and 70s in the southern half of the state.
With the unseasonably warm temperatures, Mitchell’s parks were full of activity, as local residents and those visiting for the holiday ventured outdoors to enjoy the warm weather.
“It’s crazy,” said Liz Moir, of Black Hawk, as she watched her great-niece, Jayd Morrow, 4, of Mitchell, play at Hitchcock Park Thursday afternoon.
“It’s nice to be able to take her outside,” Moir said. “We wouldn’t be doing this if it was snowing out. We might be making snow angels instead.”
Moir, in Mitchell visiting relatives for Thanksgiving, said the weather seemed especially nice given Black Hawk, located just outside Rapid City, was covered with about 10 inches of snow in last weekend’s snowstorm.
Adam Berkey, of Woodbury, Minn., was also at Hitchcock Park with young relatives, enjoying the weather.
“This is better than anything,” he said. “I would rather have the kids outside. They’ll be inside all winter.”
Berkey said his relatives preparing Thanksgiving dinner were also grateful the warm weather could get the kids out of the house.
“Usually we’re trying to contain the kids until dinner is ready, but now my mom, wife and sisters can all do their work,” he said.
Berkey hoped the warm weather would be a sign of things to come for the winter.
“Last year was so bad that there is no way it could be worse,” he said.
Philip Schumacher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, gave his reasoning for the record-high temperatures in Mitchell this Thanksgiving.
Very warm air moved in ahead of a cold front, Schumacher explained, and with no snow on the ground and dry conditions, it was ideal for creating warm temperatures.
He added that temperatures are expected to drop back to normal levels this weekend.
The National Weather Service forecasts a strong cold front will move through the area tonight and bring colder temperatures and gusting winds to the area. Strong winds on Saturday are expected, with gusts up to 50 mph and wind chills in lower 20s to upper teens.