It felt more like June than March in Mitchell Tuesday afternoon, but more winter-like conditions are on the way for the area.
Samantha Garrett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, said the high temperature climbed to 78 degrees in Mitchell Tuesday afternoon, topping a previous high of 72 degrees set in 1936. It was one of several record highs for March 9 set across the region.
“We have southerly flow on a few different levels of the atmosphere, as well as warmer temperatures at these different layers, and some warmer air is coming in across the region as well,” Garrett told the Mitchell Republic of the conditions bringing unseasonably high temperatures. “This, as well as the antecedent of dry conditions across the area, not having any snow cover right now and sunshine, all of those factors put together really help it feel like spring out there.”
She said the 78 degree mark was about 30 to 35 degrees warmer than average for Mitchell.
Mitchell wasn’t alone in seeing nice weather. Record high temperatures were also set in Huron, where it climbed to 73 degrees, beating the old record of 67 degrees, which was also set back in 1936. In Sioux Falls, the high temperatures reached 72 degrees, the highest for March 9 since 1967. And in Sioux City, the old record of 72 degrees, set in 2014, was eclipsed when it reached 73 degrees Tuesday afternoon.
Unfortunately, area residents can expect to see more winter-like conditions arriving soon, she said.
“Those of us who have been enjoying the spring weather, it’s not going to last much longer,” Garrett said. “Looking at the next weather system starting (Tuesday night) through Wednesday, we’re looking at snow coming back.”
She said the estimated high in Mitchell for Wednesday would only reach about 40 degrees, and precipitation moving into the area will develop into rain and transition to snow throughout the day.
“In Mitchell, we’re looking at around up to two inches of snow, though there is a little uncertainty with that. There is a little band that’s setting up, and if that shifts any or we see a quicker transition from rain to snow with the cooler temperatures, that could increase the total, but right now we’re thinking less than two inches,” Garrett said.
The extended outlook for the area is similar, with temperatures actually falling below normal over the next eight to 14 days.
“Taking a look at the latest climate prediction outlook for the next eight to 14 days, for those spring lovers it’s not looking too great. We’re looking at a high probability of below normal temperatures for those days. It looks to be a little cooler pattern as we head through the rest of March,” Garrett said.
Area forecasts and more weather information can be found at the National Weather Service website.