NWS: Run of record warm weather is extremely rareIf you can’t remember a March week as warm as the one that just passed, you’re not alone.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
If you can’t remember a March week as warm as the one that just passed, you’re not alone.
Jeff Chapman, a Sioux Falls-based National Weather Service meteorologist, said the long stretch of warm weather in South Dakota was extremely rare, perhaps unprecedented.
“It’s not unusual to get a day or two of such warm weather,” Chapman said Sunday. “But to get an entire week of it is highly unusual.”
The high in Mitchell Sunday was 88, topping the former record of 85 set in 1921, according to the NWS and Gary Lambert, a weather observer based in Mitchell. Sunday’s high topped a mark set the year the current Corn Palace opened.
“Yeah, we’ve been setting quite a few,” Lambert said.
He said in the past 12 years, since he’s been keeping records, the average daily high in March was 45. This year, it’s 60, Lambert said.
The warm week will go down in the record books, Chapman said.
Saturday, the high was 80, besting the former record of 76 set in 1968.
Friday kicked off the hot weekend, hitting a high of 84, which broke the record of 79 set in 1966.
Wednesday, the high was 82, snapping the old mark of 73, set in 1945.
The record streak stretches back a few days. On March 10, the high hit 76, edging the record of 75 in 1900.
Chapman said “unusually persistent warm patterns” caused the run of record warmth. The previous records were set years apart, he noted, so this week will stand out in the books.
It was hot all over South Dakota, with Winner reporting a high of 94 on Sunday.
The temperatures will cool off this week, with highs in the 60s. That’s still 10 to 20 degrees warmer than normal, Chapman said.
The highs this past week were up to 40 degrees above normal, he said.
But Chapman said the warm end of winter doesn’t necessarily mean summer will be blazing hot. It might, but it also might not, he said.
“No, there’s no good correlation between the temperatures now and what they will be in three months,” Chapman said.