SIOUX CITY AREA
CLIMATIC SUMMARY
1996

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

 

...ANOTHER WET YEAR IN SIOUXLAND...WITH ROLLER COASTER TEMPERATURES...  

It was a cool year in Sioux City...as a matter of fact the coolest year on record with an average temperature of 45.1 degrees. Every month was below normal in temperature except February and June. The warmest temperature of the year was 97 on May 17th and the coldest temperature of the year was 23 below zero on February 2nd.

Total precipitation at Sioux City airport was 31.67 inches or 5.81 inches above normal. Much of this was due to a very wet may through august when a total of 22.81 inches was recorded. It was the 6th wettest summer on record with a total of 16.53 inches from June through august with the big event of 6.43 inches from late on July 16th to early on the 17th.

The following is a summary of notable weather events in the Sioux City area in 1996...in chronological order...

1. January 29 to February 2...bitterly cold air and strong winds combined to create wind chill readings as cold as 70 below zero.

2. February 10...strong winds caused scattered minor damage. 1 to 2 inches of snow also fell resulting in areas of low visibility in blowing snow.

3. March 24 to 25...Snow, preceded by freezing rain, accumulated to 3 to 6 inches and was accompanied by winds over 60 mph. Several accidents occurred mostly due to the slippery road conditions at the start of the storm. Many people in vehicles were stranded. At least 3 people suffered frostbite in the Sioux City area. Businesses and schools were closed or forced to delay opening. Wind chills were as low as 40 below zero.

4. June 19 to 20...severe thunderstorms occurred in Woodbury county with 1 1/4 inch diameter hail reported at Sergeant Bluff on the 20th at 340 pm.

5. July 6...thunderstorm winds gusted to 70 mph near Sioux City between 744 and 800 pm.

6. July 16 to 17...severe and heavy thunderstorms struck the Sioux City area from the evening of the 16th to early on the 17th. First...thunderstorm winds gusting up to 81 mph caused widespread tree damage at Salix from 720 to 735 pm. The winds also caused some building and vehicle damage...much of which was due to falling trees...although one camper was overturned. One minor injury resulted from a person being hit by an object while trying to seek shelter. Hail up to 3/4 inch in diameter covered the ground at Sergeant Bluff at 1022 pm. Then from 1030 pm to around 400 am heavy rains of 6 to 11.5 inches in the area from Sioux City to Sloan caused flash flooding of roads including urban areas...as well as creeks and lowlands. Several levee failures were reported along wolf creek. Basement flooding and some flooding of ground level floors occurred.

7. August 4...thunderstorm winds gusting up to 58 mph around 630 pm.

8. October 26...from 1000 am to 400 pm strong south winds gusting up to 58 mph ahead of cold front caused tree and shingle damage...with minor home and vehicle damage occurring from debris.

9. October 29 to 30...from 500 pm to 200 am strong northwest winds gusting up to 58 mph behind a cold front caused tree damage and other scattered damage.

10. December 25 to 26...a snowfall of 7.0 inches occurred within a 24 hour period.

THE FOLLOWING TABLES GIVE A MONTH BY MONTH BREAKDOWN OF WEATHER IN 1996 AT THE SIOUX CITY AIRPORT...

TEMPERATURES

AVERAGE             DEPARTURE  EXTREMES    MONTHLY
MONTH MAX MIN MONTHLY FROM NORM HIGH LOW RECORDS

JANUARY 25.0 4.2 14.6 MINUS 3.1 62 19B
FEBRUARY 37.2 15.2 26.2 PLUS 2.4 69 23B
MARCH 41.9 16.0 29.0 MINUS 6.8 70 10B
APRIL 60.2 31.8 46.0 MINUS 4.2 85 19
MAY 66.0 48.7 57.4 MINUS 4.2 97 34
JUNE 82.9 59.8 71.4 PLUS 0.6 95 40
JULY 81.3 59.6 70.5 MINUS 5.2 92 45
AUGUST 80.6 59.7 70.2 MINUS 2.6 90 50
SEPTEMBER 71.3 49.9 60.6 MINUS 2.8 85 36
OCTOBER 64.7 37.9 51.3 MINUS 0.5 82 18
NOVEMBER 35.9 20.9 28.4 MINUS 8.0 64 3B 4TH COLDEST
DECEMBER 23.0 7.7 15.4 MINUS 6.4 39 11B

1996 55.8 34.3 45.1 MINUS 3.4 97 23B

NORMAL YEAR 59.2 37.7 48.5

PRECIPITATION (INCHES) AND WINDS

DEPARTURE             DEPARTURE
MONTH FROM NORM SNOWFALL FROM NORM

JANUARY 1.11 PLUS .56 8.3 PLUS 1.7
FEBRUARY .07 MINUS .64 0.1 MINUS 5.6 2ND DRIEST
MARCH 1.09 MINUS .87 4.7 MINUS 3.3
APRIL .84 MINUS 1.50 2.0 PLUS 0.6
MAY 6.28 PLUS 2.61 0 MINUS 0.1
JUNE 4.39 PLUS .68 0
JULY 7.43 PLUS 4.16 0 4TH WETTEST
AUGUST 4.71 PLUS 1.74 0
SEPTEMBER 2.67 MINUS .21 0
OCTOBER .86 MINUS 1.08 0 MINUS 0.6
NOVEMBER 1.79 PLUS .71 T MINUS 3.5
DECEMBER .43 MINUS .35 9.7 PLUS 3.4

1996 31.67 PLUS 5.81 24.8 MINUS 7.4

DAILY RECORD HIGHS/MAXES AND LOWS/MINS IN 1996...

JAN 12 MAX 59 TIED RECORD
JAN 16 MAX 54
FEB 19 MAX 69
MAR 7 MIN 10B
MAR 9 MIN 3B
APR 23 MIN 25 TIED RECORD
JUL 10 MIN 45

RECORD LOW MAXIMUM OF 9 ON MARCH 7TH


RICHARD S. RYRHOLM...CLIMATIC FOCAL POINT

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