Joe's Corner

The Summer of 1936

By Joe Sheehan
National Weather Service
Sioux Falls, SD

The dust bowl years of the 1930s had their fair share of hot summers with temperatures frequently in the 90s and 100 degrees or more was not uncommon. The hottest summer on record across much of the middle U.S. occurred in 1936. The summer of 1936 in Sioux Falls recorded the hottest July on record, followed by the 2nd warmest August and the 3rd warmest September.

The average temperature in Sioux Falls in July 1936 was 84.6 degrees, 4 degrees warmer than the second warmest July set a year earlier. The average high temperature for the month was 98.9 degrees and the average low was 70.2 degrees. A normal July in Sioux Falls would have an average temperature of 74.3 degrees with an average high of 86.3 degrees and an average low of 62.3 degrees. There was a total of 16 days during July 1936 where the mercury hit 100 degrees or more including 9 consecutive days from the 9th through the 17th. The hottest day occurred on the 17th when the temperature soared to 110 degrees, the hottest temperature ever recorded in Sioux Falls. There was a total of 27 days where the mercury hit 90 degrees or more.

The average temperature for August was 78.5 degrees or just 0.3 degrees behind the warmest August set in 1947. The average high was 90.9 degrees and the average low 66.1 degrees. The average temperature for the month of August in Sioux Falls is 71.4 degrees with an average high of 83.3 degrees and an average low of 59.4 degrees. There were three days of 100 degrees or more and 20 days of 90 degrees or more during August 1936.

For the year as a whole, there were 21 days of 100 degrees or more and a total of 61 days of 90 degrees or more. The monthly breakdown follows:

Days with 90 degrees or more:

  • May 1
  • June 9
  • July 27
  • August 20
  • September 4

Days with 100 degrees or more:

  • June 2
  • July 16
  • August 3
High temperatures (Deg F) for each day of the summer months
June through August 1936 include:
Day of Month June July August
1 84 83 97
2 70 93 101 *
3 70 97 93
4 76 108* 81
5 73 109* 84
6 74 105* 94
7 79 99 90
8 74 99 98
9 68 102 95
10 68 104 92
11 77 103* 99
12 80 102 90
13 92 103 83
14 79 103* 91
15 96 103* 103
16 87 104 92
17 76 110* 95
18 86 99 97
19 87 100 93
20 83 89 83
21 78 93 81
22 77 107* 91
23 86 99 98
24 92 100 109*
25 102* 100 97
26 92 99 84
27 96 94 80
28 101 91 83
29 94 87 82
30 90 87 79
31 94   82
Day of Month June July August
* Denotes current record high for the date through June 1998

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