2008 Climatic Summary for Sioux Falls


SIOUX FALLS AREA CLIMATIC SUMMARY FOR 2008
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SIOUX FALLS SD
920 PM CST WED DEC 31 2008

...BIZARRE WEATHER EVENTS WITH TIMELY PRECIPITATION IN SIOUX FALLS
IN 2008...

TEMPERATURES AVERAGED OUT A LITTLE BELOW NORMAL FOR 2008 AT 44.5
DEGREES. THIS WAS THE FIRST YEAR SINCE 1997 THAT HAS AVERAGED BELOW
NORMAL. PRECIPITATION WAS SOMEWHAT ABOVE NORMAL WITH 25.47 INCHES AT
THE SIOUX FALLS AIRPORT...COMPARED TO A YEARLY AVERAGE OF 24.69
INCHES. HOWEVER...A LITTLE OVER 30 INCHES PRECIPITATION OCCURRED IN
PARTS OF SOUTHERN SIOUX FALLS IN 2008. TO START THE YEAR...SNOWFALL
WAS ALSO SOMEWHAT ABOVE AVERAGE FOR THE 2007/08 SEASON, WITH 45.7
INCHES COMPARED TO A NORMAL OF 40.6 INCHES. THERE WERE A FEW BIZARRE
AND INTERESTING WEATHER EVENTS THAT HIT THE AREA IN 2008.

JANUARY WAS A TYPICALLY COLD MONTH WITH TWO MINOR EVENTS WORTH
MENTION. ON THE 20/21ST THERE WAS 3.3 INCHES SNOWFALL AT THE
AIRPORT...BUT MORE AS YOU WENT SOUTH. ON THE MORNING OF THE
29TH...STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS GUSTING TO 47 MPH AT 703 AM USHERED IN
MUCH COLDER AIR FOR THE DAY...WITH WIND CHILLS DROPPING TO 30 BELOW
ZERO AT NOONTIME...FOR THE COLDEST DAYTIME WIND CHILLS SINCE THE
PREVIOUS JANUARY. IN A JUST AS COLD FEBRUARY...THERE WERE TWO MORE
MINOR SNOW EVENTS...3.2 INCHES ON THE 4TH AND 3.5 INCHES ON THE
11TH. FEBRUARY 20TH BROUGHT THE MOST DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS OF THE
WINTER...DROPPING TO 39 BELOW ZERO AT 3 AM...WHEN COMBINING THE
ACTUAL TEMPERATURE OF 17 BELOW ZERO WITH A 14 MPH WIND.

THERE WAS A CONTINUOUS SNOW COVER OF A LEAST AN INCH...AND MOST OF
THIS TIME 3 INCHES OR MORE...FROM NOVEMBER 30TH 2007 TO MARCH 11TH
2008 OR 103 CONSECUTIVE DAYS. THIS WAS THE 8TH MOST CONSECUTIVE DAYS
ON RECORD WITH SNOW ON THE GROUND. THE RECORD WAS 141 DAYS FROM
NOVEMBER 7TH 2000 TO MARCH 27TH 2001. MARCH AND APRIL BROUGHT MORE
SNOW AND BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES...WITH 5 INCHES IN THE AREA ON
MARCH 16/17TH...3 INCHES MARCH 26/27TH...6 INCHES MARCH 31ST/APRIL
1ST...AND 3 INCHES ON APRIL 10TH. HOWEVER...THE BIGGEST STORM
OCCURRED ON APRIL 24/25TH...WITH OVER AN INCH OF RAIN FOLLOWED BY
NEARLY 4 INCHES OF WET SNOW. THE SNOWFALL WAS CONSIDERABLY HEAVIER
JUST WEST AND NORTHWEST OF SIOUX FALLS WITH 6 INCHES AT WALL LAKE
AND 9 INCHES AT MADISON. THIS SYSTEM RANKED UP THERE WITH SOME OF
THE LATEST SNOWS...BUT THE LATEST HEAVY SNOW ON RECORD FOR SIOUX
FALLS WAS 10.5 INCHES ON APRIL 28TH 1994.

MAY 1ST BROUGHT THE FIRST SEVERE WEATHER EVENT OF THE YEAR.
SCATTERED HAIL UP 1.5 INCH IN DIAMETER OCCURRED IN THE AREA IN THE
EARLY EVENING...AND 4 TORNADOES WERE REPORTED JUST SOUTHEAST OF
SIOUX FALLS IN EXTREME NORTHWEST IOWA.

THE FIRST 5 MONTHS OF 2008 WERE BELOW NORMAL IN TEMPERATURE...AND
SPRINGTIME WARMING RAN LATE...AT LEAST FOR DAILY HIGH TEMPERATURES.
THE FIRST 60 DEGREE DAY WAS ON APRIL 4TH...AND THE FIRST 80 DEGREE
PLUS DAY WAS MAY 16TH. THE AVERAGE DATE BY WHEN SIOUX FALLS HAS
ALREADY SEEN 60 DEGREES IS MARCH 14TH...AND FOR 80 DEGREES IS APRIL
23RD...SO BY THIS GAUGE...SPRING RAN ABOUT 3 WEEKS LATE FOR SIOUX
FALLS.

THE SUMMER MONTHS OF JUNE...JULY...AND AUGUST WERE ABOVE NORMAL
OVERALL IN TEMPERATURE...AND NEAR NORMAL IN RAINFALL. THERE WAS
SUFFICIENT PRECIPITATION DURING THE GROWING SEASON AS THE AREA AGAIN
RECEIVED TIMELY RAINS...ESPECIALLY IN THE THIRD WEEK OF JULY AND THE
SECOND WEEK OF AUGUST. THE FIRST PART OF JUNE BROUGHT A COUPLE OF
EPISODES OF SEVERE WEATHER AND HEAVY RAIN. IN THE FIRST WEEK...
BETWEEN 3 AND 4 INCHES OF RAIN WAS RECORDED IN SIOUX FALLS, WITH
3.02 INCHES OFFICIALLY AT THE AIRPORT. URBAN FLASH FLOODING STALLED
SOME VEHICLES ON THE WEST SIDE OF SIOUX FALLS IN THE EARLY MORNING
OF JUNE 3RD FROM 315 TO 445 AM...AND ALSO IN THE AFTERNOON OF JUNE
5TH BETWEEN 1245 AND 430 PM. MODERATE TO MAJOR FLOODING OCCURRED ON
THE VERMILLION RIVER DUE TO HEAVIER RAINS WEST OF SIOUX FALLS...AND
THERE WAS EXTENSIVE LOWLAND FLOODING DAMAGE TO FARMLAND AND CROPS.

AS FAR AS SEVERE WEATHER...ON JUNE 5TH TWO TORNADOES WERE REPORTED
WEST TO NORTH OF SIOUX FALLS BETWEEN 8 AND 9 PM CDT. ONE TORNADO
SOUTH OF BALTIC CAUSED DAMAGE TO SILOS...FARM BUILDINGS...POWER
LINES...AND NUMEROUS TREES. ON JUNE 12TH AROUND 640 PM...DRY
THUNDERSTORM MICROBURSTS CAUSED WIND GUSTS UP TO 63 MPH ON THE
NORTHWEST SIDE OF SIOUX FALLS. ON JUNE 27TH...ANOTHER TORNADO
DESTROYED OUTBUILDINGS 3 MILES SOUTHWEST OF TRENT IN MOODY COUNTY AT
9 PM.

ON JULY 1ST...THE TEMPERATURE AT JOE FOSS FIELD HIT 92 DEGREES...FOR
THE FIRST 90 DEGREE DAY IN 2008. OVER THE PERIOD OF RECORD SINCE
1889...THE AVERAGE FIRST DATE ON WHICH SIOUX FALLS SEES 90 DEGREES
OR ABOVE IS MAY 30TH...WHICH IS AROUND A MONTH EARLIER THAT IT
OCCURRED THIS YEAR. LAST YEAR IN 2007...SIOUX FALLS FIRST REACHED 90
DEGREES ON APRIL 29TH.

ON JULY 17TH...AFTER A 3 WEEK DRY SPELL...THUNDERSTORMS BROUGHT
AROUND A HALF INCH RAIN TO THE AREA AROUND 10 AM CDT. ALSO HAIL UP
TO 1 INCH IN DIAMETER AND WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH CAUSED SOME DAMAGE
JUST SOUTH OF SIOUX FALLS TOWARDS HARRISBURG. HOWEVER...A MUCH MORE
WIDESPREAD HEAVY RAIN AND SEVERE WEATHER EVENT MOVED SOUTHEAST OVER
THE AREA IN THE MID AFTERNOON OF JULY 19TH WITH 1.5 TO 3 INCHES
RAINFALL IN THE AREA. HAIL UP TO ONE INCH...WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH...
AND THE HEAVIEST RAIN HIT WESTERN TO SOUTHERN SIOUX FALLS THROUGH
LINCOLN COUNTY. ON JULY 30TH...ONE INCH HAIL WAS REPORTED AT 1223 PM
CDT SOUTHEAST OF BALTIC...AND ON JULY 31ST...LIGHTNING INJURED TWO
MEN AT A CONSTRUCTION SITE IN SIOUX FALLS AT 715 AM.

THE MOST BIZARRE WEATHER EVENT OF 2008 WAS THE HEAT BURST THAT
OCCURRED DURING THE PREDAWN HOURS OF AUGUST 3RD. A HOT DRY DOWNDRAFT
FROM DISSIPATING THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCED DAMAGING WINDS AROUND 60 MPH
AND A RAPID RISE IN TEMPERATURE FROM A FEW MILES WEST OF SIOUX FALLS
INTO THE CITY. AROUND 430 AM THE TEMPERATURE AT THE AIRPORT ROSE
FROM THE LOWER 70S TO AN OFFICIAL 99 DEGREES...FOR THE HIGHEST
TEMPERATURE OF THE YEAR.

ANOTHER DECENT RAINFALL OF 1.46 INCHES OCCURRED AT THE AIRPORT ON
AUGUST 11TH. HOWEVER...IT WAS DRY IN SIOUX FALLS FOR THE REST OF
AUGUST. WHAT WAS INTERESTING WAS THAT DESPITE THE OVERALL ABOVE
NORMAL TEMPERATURE FROM SUMMER INTO FALL...THERE WERE ONLY 6 DAYS
WITH 90 DEGREES OR ABOVE IN 2008...5 OF THEM IN JULY...COMPARED TO A
YEARLY NORMAL OF 22.

SEPTEMBER WAS AN UNEVENTFUL MONTH...BUT THE AUTUMN SEASON OF
SEPTEMBER THROUGH NOVEMBER WAS QUITE MILD OVERALL. THE FIRST
FREEZING TEMPERATURE OF 32 DEGREES OF THE FALL WAS ON OCTOBER
14TH...WHICH MADE 167 CONSECUTIVE DAYS ABOVE FREEZING FROM THE 32
DEGREE LOW ON APRIL 29TH. THIS TIED FOR THE 7TH LONGEST SUCH PERIOD
ON RECORD...AND WAS GOOD FOR LATE GROWING GARDENS. THE FIRST
WIDESPREAD HARD FREEZE DID NOT HIT UNTIL OCTOBER 27TH...WHEN THE LOW
WAS 23 DEGREES.

OCTOBER BROUGHT THE WETTEST MONTH OF 2008 WITH A TOTAL OF 5.44
INCHES AT THE AIRPORT...FOR THE 5TH WETTEST OCTOBER ON RECORD.
MONTHLY PRECIPITATION WAS CLOSER TO 7 INCHES IN WESTERN SIOUX FALLS
WHERE OVER 3 INCHES RAIN WAS MEASURED ON THE 6TH. THE OTHER BIG RAIN
EVENT OF THE MONTH WAS ON OCTOBER 22/23RD WHEN 2 TO 2.5 INCHES
OCCURRED OVER THE CITY. THE STRONGEST WIND OF THE YEAR AT THE
AIRPORT WAS RECORDED AT 833 PM CDT ON OCTOBER 25TH...WITH A WIND
GUST FROM THE NORTHWEST AT 63 MPH.

NOVEMBER STARTED THE SNOW SEASON...AND DECEMBER BROUGHT THE WINTER
COLD FOR THE FIRST BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURE MONTH SINCE MAY. THERE
WERE NUMEROUS 1 TO 3 INCH SNOW  EVENTS IN NOVEMBER AND ESPECIALLY
DECEMBER...WITH MOST OF THE HEAVIER SNOWS SKIRTING NORTH AND SOUTH
OF SIOUX FALLS. DECEMBER ADDED UP TO 12.5 INCHES AT THE AIRPORT...
COMPARED TO A NORMAL OF 7.0 INCHES...FOR A SEASONAL TOTAL AT THE END
OF THE YEAR OF 15 TO 20 INCHES IN THE SIOUX FALLS AREA.


THE FOLLOWING TABLES GIVE A MONTH BY MONTH BREAKDOWN OF WEATHER IN
2008 AT THE SIOUX FALLS AIRPORT...

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

JANUARY        23.5   3.9     13.7   MINUS 0.3   43  19B
FEBRUARY       24.9   4.8     14.8   MINUS 6.0   42  19B
MARCH          38.0  20.4     29.2   MINUS 3.4   53  11B
APRIL          55.4  31.2     43.3   MINUS 2.4   78  19
MAY            67.5  45.2     56.4   MINUS 1.4   82  33
JUNE           80.0  56.3     68.2    PLUS 0.7   88  48
JULY           85.7  63.4     74.5    PLUS 1.5   96  50
AUGUST         83.0  60.1     71.5    PLUS 0.7   99  48
SEPTEMBER      75.6  50.2     62.9    PLUS 2.0   89  37
OCTOBER        60.8  38.1     49.5    PLUS 1.5   76  22   5TH WETTEST
NOVEMBER       43.4  25.7     34.6    PLUS 3.3   76   5
DECEMBER       25.5   5.0     15.3   MINUS 2.9   49  13B

2008          55.3  33.7     44.5   MINUS 0.6   99  19B
NORMAL YEAR    57.2  33.0     45.1


PRECIPITATION...INCHES
                  DEPARTURE            DEPARTURE   MAX WIND GUSTS...
   MONTH          FROM NORM  SNOWFALL  FROM NORM  DIRECTION/MPH/DATE

JANUARY     .23   MINUS  .28     4.1    MINUS 3.3      NW 49 ON 28TH
FEBRUARY    .57    PLUS  .06     7.5     PLUS 1.6       N 47 ON 17TH
MARCH      1.34   MINUS  .47    14.5     PLUS 6.4      NW 44 ON 25TH
APRIL      2.68    PLUS  .03     7.6     PLUS 4.1       S 51 ON 15TH
MAY        3.34   MINUS  .05      0                     E 60 ON 23RD
JUNE       3.95    PLUS  .46      0              S 54 12TH/NW 54 28TH
JULY       2.52   MINUS  .41      0              NW 44 11TH/N 44 17TH
AUGUST     1.91   MINUS 1.10      0               SW 41 3RD/W 41 11TH
SEPTEMBER  1.78   MINUS  .80      0                     S 39 ON 1ST
OCTOBER    5.44    PLUS 3.51    TRACE   MINUS 1.1      NW 63 ON 25TH
NOVEMBER   1.01   MINUS  .35     3.4    MINUS 4.2      NW 45 ON 7TH
DECEMBER    .70    PLUS  .18    12.5     PLUS 5.5      NW 48 ON 14TH

2008     25.47    PLUS  .78    49.6     PLUS 9.0     NW 63 OCT 25TH

RICHARD S. RYRHOLM...CLIMATIC FOCAL POINT






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