Joe's Corner

THE DECADE OF THE 1960S

 

AVERAGE YEARLY TEMPERATURE

AVERAGE SUMMER TEMPERATURE

AVERAGE WINTER TEMPERATURE

TOTAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE YEAR

1960

44.4 DEGREES

70.8 DEGREES

19.2 DEGREES

27.51 INCHES

1961

45.5 DEGREES

71.7 DEGREES

19.6 DEGREES

23.05 INCHES

1962

45.5 DEGREES

69.9 DEGREES

15.3 DEGREES

30.47 INCHES

1963

47.4 DEGREES

73.4 DEGREES

16.4 DEGREES

21.00 INCHES

1964

46.5 DEGREES

71.9 DEGREES

21.0 DEGREES

22.56 INCHES

1965

43.5 DEGREES

68.6 DEGREES

13.5 DEGREES

23.94 INCHES

1966

44.2 DEGREES

72.0 DEGREES

16.9 DEGREES

20.84 INCHES

1967

45.0 DEGREES

69.3 DEGREES

17.4 DEGREES

16.40 INCHES

1968

45.9 DEGREES

71.4 DEGREES

19.2 DEGREES

27.82 INCHES

1969

43.6 DEGREES

69.4 DEGREES

14.7 DEGREES

26.58 INCHES

 

 

NUMBER OF DAYS 90 DEGREES OR MORE

NUMBER OF DAYS 100 DEGREES OR MORE

NUMBER OF DAYS 0 DEGREES OR LESS

NUMBER OF DAYS -10 DEGREES OR LESS

1960

24

0

39

13

1961

23

0

28

12

1962

11

0

34

13

1963

28

0

42

29

1964

37

2

24

8

1965

10

1

41

15

1966

31

3

40

21

1967

20

3

47

10

1968

28

1

31

10

1969

16

0

43

14

The decade of the 1960s was the third coolest decade of the 20th century with an average temperature of 45.2 degrees. The average summer temperature for the decade of 70.8 degrees was slightly below normal while the average winter temperature of 17.3 degrees was the third coolest of the century. The 1960s did have the most days this century with temperature at or below zero (369). Of these days, 145 saw temperatures dip below 10 below zero or colder - the third most for the century. Examining individual years, 1965 tied for the 9th coolest this century with an average yearly temperature of 43.5 degrees. The winter season of 1964-65 had 52 days with temperatures at or below zero - tied for the fifth most days for any winter during the 20th century. The decade experienced 3 of the 5 coldest Marches this century - 1960 with an average temperatures of 17.7degrees (coldest this century), 1965 at 21.7 degrees (fourth coldest) and 1969 at 20.5 degrees (third coldest). May 1968 tied for the third coolest May of the century with an average temperature of 52.6 degrees. With an average temperature of 61.4 degrees, June 1969 was the coolest June of the century. The coolest September of the century occurred in 1965 with an average temperature of 51.5 degrees. The third coldest October of the century occurred in 1969 with an average temperature of 43.4 degrees. The warmest autumn season of the century occurred in 1963 with an average temperature of 53.9 degrees and October 1963 was the second warmest of the century (58.1 degrees). The coolest temperature recorded during the month of May occurred in 1967 when the mercury dropped to 17 degrees on the 4th. The morning low of 38 degrees on July 4, 1967 equals the coolest July day of the century. The warmest October day of the century occurred in 1963 when the temperature hit 94 degrees on the 5th. The low temperature of 17 below zero on November 30, 1964 equals the coldest November temperature recorded in the century. The earliest day with a temperature of 100 degrees or more occurred on May 25, 1967 with a high of 100 degrees.

Precipitation for the decade of the 1960s was third driest of the 20th century at 240.17 inches. However only one year was among the top 5 driest - 1967 with 16.40 inches of precipitation. That year also saw the 5th driest July of the century with 0.53 inches of rain and the 4th driest May with 0.72 inches. Only one other month was amongst the top 5 driest - April 1969 had only 0.17 inches of precipitation - the second driest April of the 20th century. The wettest and snowiest winter season occurred in 1968-69 with 6.88 inches of precipitation and 94.7 inches of snow. This included December 1968 which saw 2.62 inches of precipitation - the second most for any December this century. The decade also boasts the second wettest winter season in 1961-62 with 5.14 inches of precipitation. Much of that precipitation occurred during the wettest February when 4.05 inches of precipitation fell. Other wet months include February 1969 with 2.55 inches of precipitation (4th wettest), May 1965 with 7.29 inches of rainfall (5th wettest), September 1966 with 6.34 inches (3rd wettest), and October 1968 with 4.57 inches (5th wettest). The wettest January day of the century occurred New Years Day 1960 with 1.59 inches of precipitation. The wettest September day of the century occurred on the 11th when 4.02 inches of rain fell in 1966. The decade may be best remembered for its snowfall. The greatest snowstorm, greatest 24 hour snowfall and greatest depth of snow on ground occurred during the 1960s. In addition to the record snowfall in 1968-69, the winter season of 1961-62 saw 79.8 inches of snow. The greatest snowstorm of the century occurred February 16 through the 18th, 1962 when a total of 32.2 inches of snow fell. It was during this same storm that the 24 hour snowfall record was established at 26 inches. The greatest daily snowfall for the month of February occurred on the 17th in 1962 with 18 inches, followed by 13.8 inches the next day. The coldest temperature of the decade occurred a few days later on the 28th when the mercury fell to 31 degrees below zero. The maximum snow depth of 34 inches was recorded twice, December 31, 1968 and February 28, 1969. Besides the 32.2 inches of snow that fell February 16-18 1962, other significant snowstorms of the decade include 14.1 inches February 9-11 1965, 11.8 inches January 1-2 1960 and 17.7 inches December 21-22 1968. The latest measurable snow of the century occurred on May 18, 1968 with 0.1 inches of snow.

The greatest flood of the century in Sioux Falls occurred on April 10, 1969 when the Big Sioux River gage on highway 38A crested at 19.80 feet - 7.8 feet above flood stage. The flood occurred when the winter snow pack melted the end of March and beginning of April. The 30 inches of snow on the ground March 12 had decreased to 10 inches at the end of the month and to less than an inch by April 8. Fortunately, not much precipitation occurred prior to the record crest with 0.24 inches recorded between March 21 and April 10. Temperatures hit 69 degrees on the 7th and 67 degrees on the 8th.


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