SIOUX FALLS AREA
CLIMATIC SUMMARY
1995

By Richard Ryrholm
Climatic Focal Point
National Weather Service, Sioux Falls

 

...DRAMATIC CHANGEABLE WEATHER PATTERNS AROUND SIOUX FALLS IN 1995...

 The total precipitation for 1995 was 30.42 inches...or 6.56 inches above the normal at the Sioux Falls airport of 23.86 inches. Around 35 inches precipitation was recorded in southern Sioux Falls for the year. Temperatures averaged out to 46.4 degrees for 1995 or 0.9 degree above the normal of 45.5 degrees.

The weather varied quite a bit from season to season in Sioux Falls in 1995 from a dry mild winter to a wet cool spring to a hot humid summer to a rather cool and dry autumn. There was only 0.64 inch of melted precipitation in the winter of 1994/95 which includes the months of December...January...and February. This tied with the winter of 1989/90 for the 5th driest winter since records began in 1893. It was also rather mild with each month above normal in temperatures through March. The lowest temperature of 1995 was only 15 below zero on March 8th but it was a record low for the date.

The weather pattern changed from mild and dry to cool and wet by late March when the first of a series of major spring storm systems affected the area. 2.53 inches of rain and hail fell in a 24 hour period from March 25th to the 26th which was the most precipitation in 24 hours for 1995. Of this amount 2.39 inches on the 25th made it the wettest of any day ever in the month of March. This helped to make March 1995 the wettest March on record with a total of 4.06 inches precipitation. Significant wet snow occurred from April 9th to the 12th when a total of 12.5 inches of snowfall occurred at the airport. Heavier snows occurred to the northwest of Sioux Falls. 6.9 inches fell at Sioux Falls airport from the 9th to the 10th for the snowiest 24 hour period of 1995. Another significant April event was 2.16 inches precipitation within 24 hours from the 17th to the 18th. April ended up with 5.83 inches total precipitation for the wettest month of 1995 and the 4th wettest April on record. 4.76 inches was measured in May and combined with March and April made a spring total of 14.65 inches for the wettest spring on record.

The pattern again changed dramatically after the 2nd week of June to hotter and drier weather. This was good news for the farmers as they and the crops had a lot of catching up to do. The summer temperature average of 74.0 degrees did not quite make the top 10 hottest summers...but was close. There were three 100 degree days in summer 1995...107 on July 12th...106 on July 13th...and 100 on August 8th...which were all record highs for their respective dates. The 107 on the 12th was not only 3 degrees from the all/time record high of 110 but was the first 100 degree day in nearly 4 years. The last day of 100 degrees or more was on August 25th 1991 when the high was 100.

The summer of 1995 was also quite humid overall especially in August when the average dew point for the month was 67.3 degrees. August was also the 6th warmest August on record. Much of this warmth was due to the muggy average daily minimum of 65.9 degrees which was 6.5 degrees above normal. Two heavy thunderstorm events in August made it the second wettest month of 1995 with a total of 5.11 inches. Within 24 hour periods...2.40 inches occurred from August 4th to 5th...and 2.51 inches from August 28th to 29th...for badly need rainfall during an otherwise rather dry and hot summer.

The autumn of 1995 from September through November was somewhat below normal in both temperatures and precipitation. The first official freeze was 32 degrees at the airport on September 21st. The low for the month was 27 degrees on the 22nd. However the next freezing temperature did not occur until October 21st when a 26 low was recorded. So areas around Sioux Falls that escaped the first hard freeze had quite an extension of the growing season.

October had the most interesting weather of the fall as 7.4 inches snow was measured at the airport for the 2nd snowiest October on record. The storm of October 23rd dumped nearly an inch of rain on Sioux Falls but only 1.5 inches of snowfall. However much heavier snow occurred to the north and west of Sioux Falls where there was considerable damage to power lines and trees. The strongest wind of 1995 also occurred on October 23rd when north winds gusted to 52 mph at the airport. December started the winter on the mild and dry side and averaged 5.4 degrees above normal for the month. The main exception to this was the mini/blizzard that struck the area on December 8th along with northwesterly wind gusts to 51 mph.

THE FOLLOWING TABLES GIVE A MONTH BY MONTH BREAKDOWN OF WEATHER IN 1995 AT THE SIOUX FALLS AIRPORT...

TEMPERATURES

TEMPERATURES
AVERAGE DEPARTURE EXTREMES
MONTH MAX MIN MONTHLY FROM NORM HIGH LOW COMMENTS

JANUARY 24.7 10.6 17.7 PLUS 3.9 40 -14
FEBRUARY 33.0 14.0 23.5 PLUS 3.8 58 -9
MARCH 43.8 25.7 34.8 PLUS 2.3 73 -15
APRIL 50.7 32.8 41.8 MINUS 5.1 65 14
MAY 65.8 45.5 55.7 MINUS 2.7 81 34
JUNE 80.5 59.5 70.0 PLUS 1.7 98 41
JULY 87.5 62.7 75.1 PLUS 0.8 107 45
AUGUST 87.8 65.9 76.9 PLUS 5.5 100 50
SEPTEMBER 72.0 48.8 60.4 MINUS 0.5 86 27
OCTOBER 58.0 38.5 48.3 MINUS 0.3 85 26
NOVEMBER 37.6 20.7 29.2 MINUS 3.8 54 5
DECEMBER 31.5 15.8 23.7 PLUS 5.4 53 -7

1995 56.1 36.7 46.4 PLUS 0.9 107 -15

NORMAL YEAR 56.8 34.2 45.5

PRECIPITATION (INCHES) AND WINDS

PRECIPITATION...INCHES
DEPARTURE DEPARTURE MAX WIND GUSTS...
MONTH FROM NORM SNOWFALL FROM NORM DIRECTION/MPH/DATE

JANUARY .18 MINUS .33 0.5 MINUS 6.0 W 36 ON 17TH
FEBRUARY .13 MINUS .51 2.4 MINUS 5.9 NW 49 ON 9TH
MARCH 4.06 PLUS 2.42 8.8 MINUS 1.4 SE 41 ON 25TH
APRIL 5.83 PLUS 3.31 12.5 PLUS 10.3 NE 48 ON 18TH
MAY 4.76 PLUS 1.73 0 S 51 ON 16TH
JUNE 2.70 MINUS .70 0 SE 44 ON 15TH
JULY 2.55 MINUS .13 0 SW 47 ON 23RD
AUGUST 5.11 PLUS 2.26 0 W 43 ON 18TH
SEPTEMBER 1.86 MINUS 1.16 0 NW 43 ON 30TH
OCTOBER 2.76 PLUS .98 7.4 PLUS 6.9 N 52 ON 23RD
NOVEMBER .38 MINUS .71 5.1 PLUS 0.1 W 44 ON 20TH
DECEMBER .10 MINUS .60 1.9 MINUS 5.7 NW 51 ON 8TH

1995 30.42 PLUS 6.56 38.6 MINUS 1.7 N 52 OCT 23RD

RICHARD S. RYRHOLM/ CLIMATIC FOCAL POINT

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