UPDATE: Winter 2011-2012 - One of the Warmest in Recorded History Across the Area

Meteorological winter 2011-2012 (defined as the period from December – February) will likely be remembered as one of the warmest winters on record at many locations across central and northeastern South Dakota.  This very mild winter can be attributed to several factors including below normal snowfall, lack of a persistent, deep snow cover, and few arctic airmass intrusions.    

The tables below lists the warmest average temperature for the period December through February at Aberdeen, Pierre, Mobridge, and Watertown.  Graphical displays for the observed temperature and departure from normal for all of South Dakota is also provided (courtesy of the High Plains Regional Climate Center).

One note is that 2012 is a leap year – such that the winter of 2011/2012 contained one more day in meteorological winter than a majority of the other years (91 days vs. 90 days).  Leap year winters are annoated by an asterisk (*). 

 


 

 

Aberdeen, SD (Normal DJF Temperature = 15.1F)

Rank

Average Temperature

Year

1

27.6

1931

2

25.6

1987

3

25.2

1983

4

24.7

1992*

5

23.1

2012*

6

22.9

1921

7

22.3

1998

8

21.9

2002

9

21.6

1944*

10

21.5

2006

 

Pierre, SD (Normal DJF Temperature = 22.0F)

Rank

Average Temperature

Year

1

30.2

1992*

2

30.0

1987

3

29.8

1983

4

29.2

2000

5

29.1

1998

6

28.4

1999

7

28.2

1981

8

27.3

2006, 1934

10

27.2

2002

11

26.9

2012*

 

Watertown, SD (Normal DJF Temperature = 15.4F)

Rank

Average Temperature

Year

1

25.6

1987

2

23.8

1992*

3

22.7

1921

4

22.6

2012*

5

22.4

2002, 1983

7

21.7

1998

8

21.3

2000

9

21.0

1919

10

20.4

1944*

 

Mobridge, SD (Normal DJF Temperature = 18.4F)

Rank

Average Temperature

Year

1

27.1

1992*

2

26.9

1987

3

25.9

1983

4

24.4

2002

5

24.3

2006

6

24.1

2000*

7

23.8

2012*

8

23.5

1981

9

22.7

1954

10

21.6

1976*

 

 


 

 

Figure 1:  High Plains Regional Climate Center Average DJF Temperature:

 

 

   

Figure 2: High Plains Regional Climate Center DJF Depature from Normal Temperature:

 

 

 


 

Mike Fowle - SOO



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