Hottest temp Friday in SD: 108 in Chamberlain, Philip, PierreHeat to continue in coming days with little relief
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
General Philip H. Sheridan, a Civil War hero, knew hot weather and dry climates all too well. “Fightin’ Phil” Sheridan didn’t care for either one of them.
“If I owned Texas and Hell I would rent out Texas and live in Hell,” he reportedly said.
South Dakotans know that feeling lately. The long, hot summer of 2012 continued Friday, as highs topped 100 in several cities and towns. The hottest temperature in the state Friday was 108, in places including Chamberlain, Pierre and Philip.
The temperature hit 103 in Mitchell. It won’t be any cooler in the next few days, with the forecast calling for 96 in Mitchell today and 97 Sunday, 99 on Monday and 100 on Tuesday. Kyle Weisser, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Sioux Falls, said the extreme weather will continue for several more days, although perhaps not as hot as it has been.
“But don’t look for the 70s, either,” Weisser said. He understands people are weary of the blazing conditions. Weisser said when he tells his kids to play outside, they give him a funny look.
Such long hot spells are not unprecedented. In July 1936, Mitchell experienced 27 days in a row over 90.
Today will mark 11 days in a row over 90 this year, Weisser said. That makes it the 25th hottest spell in city history.
But the lack of rain has added to the misery, he said.
“It’s just such dry weather with these conditions,” Weisser said. “It’s like winter. It just keeps dragging on.”
According to the NWS forecast, “elevated humidity levels, especially east of the James River, will add to the discomfort for many people through this period, with afternoon heat index values of 95 to 105 likely across the region most days.”
It notes that heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year.
“Be sure to check up on relatives and neighbors during this period of prolonged heat, especially the elderly and those without air conditioning,” it states. “People and pets enclosed in parked vehicles are at great risk. Studies have shown that the temperature inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to a dangerous level for children, pets and even adults.”