Temperatures were rather mild in 2004, averaging 49.2 degrees, or 0.9 degree above normal. Precipitation at the Sioux gateway airport measured 25.55 inches for the year, just 0.44 inch below normal. Snowfall for the 2003-04 season totaled 58.3 inches, or 26.9 inches above normal, and was the 7th snowiest season on record. However, the current season so far has been the total opposite. The seasonal snowfall total of 0.5 inch through December 31st is the lowest recorded since 1894. The following is a chronological account of the weather events of 2004 in the Siouxland:
January 2nd, the high temperature of 59 degrees tied the record for the date originally set in 1964.
January 25-26th, 12.6 inches of snowfall was measured at the airport, with 11.1 inches occurring within a 24 hour period.
January 27th, the lowest temperature of the year was recorded with a low of -12 degrees.
February 1-2nd, 6.0 inches of snowfall was recorded at the airport.
February 5th, 7.0 inches snowfall was preceded by some freezing rain causing hazardous travel conditions.
March 15th, the biggest snowstorm of the year brought 18.4 inches snowfall and was the 2nd greatest 24 hour snowstorm on record. The 1.66 inches water equivalent was also the heaviest precipitation event of the year. March ended up as the 3rd wettest March and 4th snowiest March on record.
March and April, the big snowstorm of March 15th was just a temporary blip in the warm spring, as temperatures warmed to 69 degrees on the 19th, and 81 degrees on the 24th. The 6 inches of leftover snow cover the morning of the 19th had all melted by the end of the day. There was a trace of snowfall on March 17th, and then there was no snow at all for the rest of the season. The last time there was no snow for the month of April was in 1981.
April 16th, the high temperature of 90 degrees was a record for the date.
April 18th, the first severe weather of the season occurred with penny size hail and high winds reported in Sioux City between 710-800 pm CDT.
May 5th, the temperature reached 95 degrees for a new daily record and also the warmest temperature of 2004.
May 24th, hail up to 1 inch in diameter was reported within Sioux City between 115-131 pm CDT.
May 28th, hail up to 2 inches in diameter was reported in Sioux City between 851-859 pm CDT.
May 29th, thunderstorm winds gusted to 64 mph at 850 pm CDT, for the strongest winds of the year at the Sioux City airport.
June 8th, hail up to 1 inch in diameter occurred in Sioux City between 423-442 pm CDT.
June 16th, heavy rains in Sioux City in the late morning caused flooding of numerous roads and some basements.
August 23rd, nickel size hail was reported on the north side of Sioux City at 404 pm CDT.
Summer of 2004, all three summer months of June, July, and August were below normal in temperature and it was the third coolest summer on record, with an average temperature of 68.9 degrees, compared to a normal of 72.4 degrees. The last time all three summer months were below normal in temperature was in 1992. Sioux City had only 11 days of 90 degrees or more in 2004, compared to a normal of 23. Record daily lows occurred on the following dates, June 24th and 28th, July 25th, 26th, and 27th, and August 13th, 14th, 19th, and 21st.
September 14th, half dollar size hail occurred in Sioux City around 515 pm CDT.
October 2nd, the temperature bottomed out at 24 degrees, for a new record low.
November 6th, temperatures reached a record high of 80 degrees.
November 28th, the first snow of the season was recorded with 0.4 inch snowfall. This was the 2nd latest on record before receiving at least a trace of snow, and the 3rd latest measurable snowfall on record. The latest trace on record was on December 1st 1963, and the latest measurable snow on record was December 22nd 2001.
December, it was a very mild and dry month with temperatures averaging 6.6 degrees above normal, mainly due to the total lack of snow cover. There was only a trace of snowfall for the whole month, which ties December in 1913 for the least December snowfall on record. The seasonal snowfall total at the end of the year was only 0.5 inch, the least on record through December 31st since 1894 when 0.3 inch was recorded.
AVERAGE DEPARTURE EXTREMES MONTHLY
MONTH MAX MIN MONTHLY FROM NORM HIGH LOW RECORDS
JANUARY 28.4 8.9 18.7 PLUS 0.1 59 12B
FEBRUARY 29.9 13.3 21.6 MINUS 3.5 52 10B
MARCH 51.9 30.2 41.1 PLUS 4.6 81 13 3RD WETTEST
APRIL 66.9 37.6 52.3 PLUS 2.8 90 23
MAY 73.1 49.6 61.4 PLUS 0.2 95 29
JUNE 78.2 55.7 67.0 MINUS 3.5 93 44
JULY 82.2 61.3 71.8 MINUS 2.8 92 47
AUGUST 80.4 56.0 68.2 MINUS 3.9 92 43 3RD COOLEST
SEPTEMBER 82.0 54.8 68.4 PLUS 5.3 93 35
OCTOBER 65.3 39.0 52.1 PLUS 1.3 80 24
NOVEMBER 50.9 26.7 38.8 PLUS 4.0 80 7
DECEMBER 40.0 17.8 28.9 PLUS 6.6 66 10B LEAST SNOW
2004 57.5 35.8 46.6 PLUS 1.5 91 18B
NORMAL YEAR 57.2 33.0 45.1
DEPARTURE DEPARTURE MAX WIND GUSTS...
MONTH FROM NORM SNOWFALL FROM NORM DIRECTION/MPH/DATE
JANUARY .83 PLUS .24 16.6 PLUS 10.3 NW 43 ON 14TH
FEBRUARY 1.09 PLUS .47 14.5 PLUS 9.0 SE 41 ON 29TH
MARCH 4.36 PLUS 2.36 20.2 PLUS 14.4 NW 49 ON 11TH
APRIL 1.36 MINUS 1.39 0 MINUS 1.9 S 56 ON 18TH
MAY 4.32 PLUS .57 0 S 64 ON 29TH
JUNE 4.12 PLUS .51 0 NW 45 ON 11TH
JULY 2.93 MINUS .37 0 W 43 ON 3RD
AUGUST .97 MINUS 1.93 0 NE 43 ON 3RD
SEPTEMBER 3.42 PLUS 1.00 0 S 37 ON 20TH
OCTOBER .58 MINUS 1.41 0 MINUS 0.8 N 49 ON 1ST
NOVEMBER 1.44 PLUS .04 0.5 MINUS 4.3 N 40 ON 27TH
DECEMBER .12 MINUS .54 T MINUS 6.3 NW 52 ON 12TH
2004 25.55 MINUS .44 51.8 PLUS 20.4 S 64 MAY 29TH
RICHARD S. RYRHOLM...CLIMATIC FOCAL POINT