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Monday was hot, but do you ever wonder what was the highest temperature ever recorded in Mitchell?

The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather condition advisory spanning across South Dakota due to unusually high temperatures this week.

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Alexandria's Quaid Patzlaff jumps off the diving board on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at the Mitchell Aquatic Center.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic
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MITCHELL — Ever wonder what was the highest temperature ever recorded in Mitchell?

This week’s sweltering heat isn’t unusual, as Mitchell’s record high came July 24, 1940, at a blistering 116 degrees.

That makes Monday’s high of 99 seem much more manageable. So far, this July has already seen 10 days exceed 90 degrees, with Monday’s temperature being the second-highest of the year. Only on June 29 did Mitchell’s temperature top triple digits at 103.

The heat isn’t letting up anytime soon, according to the forecast from the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. The extended forecast through this week calls for high temps at or above 90 through Saturday.

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Graphic courtesy of National Weather Service in Sioux Falls.

So what to do about the heat? Weather experts say that heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths in the United States. While everyone can be vulnerable to hot weather, certain groups are particularly impacted. The elderly, pregnant women, those with chronic medical conditions, pets and children are especially at risk.

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So far this year, there have been at least 10 child deaths across the U.S. related to heat exposure after being left in a hot car. Experts say to lock car doors — even if the vehicle is sitting in the driveway — as curious children may climb into them and could suffer lethal conditions within minutes. They also advise checking in on those who may fall into an at-risk category and ensuring pets have access to water when outside for prolonged periods of time.

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National Weather Service graphic.

Excessive heat can also cause heat stress on cattle, running the risk of stunted growth or killing them altogether. The same can be said on crops — drought can cause reduced quality of produce, smaller yields or the loss of crop fields in their entirety.

The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor, released on July 14, showed much of western South Dakota in some stage of drought. Southeastern South Dakota is experiencing all four stages of drought, while the northeastern portion of the state, however, is clear of drought.

Even though temperatures this week aren’t record-breaking, the NWS issued a hazardous weather condition advisory spanning across central, east central, south central, and southeastern South Dakota, as well as a few bordering counties in Nebraska and Iowa.

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This is the U.S. drought monitor for the week of July 14, 2022.
Graphic courtesy of U.S. Drought Monitor.

The areas affected are extremely prone to fires due to the combination of hot, dry and windy conditions.

Samantha Garrett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, advised people to be extra cautious for the next few days with anything that can cause sparks. This includes power tools, welding equipment, and dragging chains from vehicles.

Garrett also says to stay off dry grass and to not throw cigarettes out while driving, as it can easily ignite and set off an uncontrollable fire in minutes, killing wildlife and destroying thousands of acres of land in the blink of an eye.

Though the wind is expected to let up by Thursday, Garrett said it’s only going to get hotter, but that this kind of heat isn’t unfamiliar for a summer in South Dakota.

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Carys Patzlaff jumps off the diving board on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at the Mitchell Aquatic Center.
Adam Thury / Mitchell Republic

Cassie Williams joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2022. To get in contact with Cassie about potential stories, feel free to email her at cwilliams@mitchellrepublic.com.
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