NWS: July was third hottest in history of MitchellDust-bowl years in mid-1930s still hold mark for hot months.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
While 2012 ushered in the hottest July ever recorded nationally, it was Mitchell’s third hottest July.
“This is the hottest July Mitchell has had outside the Dust Bowl era,” said Mike Gillispie of the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.
Nationally, temperatures averaged 77.6 degrees this July, but temps in Mitchell averaged 81.7 degrees. The hottest July Mitchell ever experienced was in July 1936, when temps averaged 86.5 degrees.
Mitchell’s second hottest July was in 1935, when temperatures averaged 82.1 degrees. That record only stood for a year before the hottest July recorded was endured.
“Nineteen thirty-six was definitely a year for the record books almost everywhere,” Gillispie said.
In addition to hot summer weather, above-normal precipitation was recorded during the winter of 1935-36, with 52.8 inches of snow falling. That brought flooding conditions just prior to one of the worst droughts in recorded history.
South Dakota has been spared the dust storms that gave the Dust Bowl era its name. “That’s because farming practices have changed so much,” Gillispie said. “And because of those practices we don’t have loose topsoil, and dust blowing like we had in the past.”