Parts of SD experience driest summer on recordThe cities of Sturgis in the west, Winner in the south central part of the state and Sioux Falls in the southeast set records for dryness.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Some parts of South Dakota have experienced their driest summer on record as drought persists throughout the state.
The cities of Sturgis in the west, Winner in the south central part of the state and Sioux Falls in the southeast set records for dryness during the "meteorological summer," which is June through August, according to the National Weather Service. Winner got only about 3 inches of rain, and Sturgis and Sioux Falls less than 3 inches.
All three cities are in areas the U.S. Drought Monitor map shows as being in extreme drought. More than two-thirds of South Dakota is in severe, extreme or exceptional drought.
Sturgis' previous record-dry summer was 2006, when the city got 3 inches of rain. Winner's previous record was about 3 1/3 inches in 1970. Sioux Falls' previous record was set more than a century ago when about 3½ inches of rain fell in 1894. Just two years ago, Sioux Falls had its wettest summer on record, with about 22½ inches of rain.
Heat has exacerbated the dry conditions. The period of the past 12 months ending in August was the warmest year on record in Sioux Falls, at more than 5 degrees above normal, the weather service said. This summer also has been one of the warmest in the Sioux Falls area and also the Black Hills region in the west, the agency said.
The South Dakota forecast for the rest of the week calls for high temperatures mainly in the 70s and 80s, but the state is likely to see more hot weather before fall coolness arrives, meteorologist Jeff Johnson told the Rapid City Journal.
"We're not out of the woods yet in terms of 90 degree weather or 100 degree weather," he said.