A look at how cold it was in December

December 2008 was one of the colder Decembers in the last decade in Sioux Falls and Sioux City.  Sioux Falls was 3 degrees below normal for the month and Sioux City was 5.3 degrees below normal. For both cities, it was the coldest December since 2000 while the coldest December on record is in 1983.  The average temperature was approximately 2 degrees colder than last year.  What made December 2008 seem much colder were the low temperatures.  For Sioux City, average low was 5.6 degrees which tied it for the 7th coldest on record.  For Sioux Falls, the average low was 5.0 degrees but was only tied for the 18th coldest on record.  On the other hand, the high temperatures were very similar to December 2007.  For Sioux Falls the average high was 25.5 degrees which was only 0.7 degrees colder than 2007.  For Sioux City, the average high temperature was actually warmer in 2008 than in 2007.

The table below summarizes the temperature information for both cities.  Shown are the average temperatures for December 2008, December 2007, December 2000, which was the last time it was this cold, and the record cold year of 1983.

December temperatures for Sioux Falls and Sioux City
    2008     2007     2000     1983  
City High Low Average High Low Average High Low Average High Low Average
Sioux Falls

25.5

5.0

15.3

26.2

8.8

17.5

16.5

-1.2

7.6

10.9

-6.7

2.1

Sioux City

28.3

5.6

17.0

27.0

10.5

18.7

19.7

3.2

11.5

13.4

-1.4

6.0



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