National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Excessive Rainfall and Flooding Threat in the South; Hazardous Heat in the Western U.S. Expanding to the Northern Plains

Multiple rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms across portions of the Texas and Louisiana Coast will likely lead to flash, urban, small stream and river flooding. An additional heavy rainfall threat will exist from the Lower Mississippi Valley through the southern Mid-Atlantic. Meanwhile, a dangerous heat threat will continue across the Western U.S. and northern Plains through Thursday. Read More >

The year of 2014 was cooler than normal across the entire region with only a few above normal months towards the end of year.  The yearly mean temperature was from just below to almost four degrees below normal. Yearly precipitation varied quite a bit with some locations above to much above normal with other locations below to much below normal for 2014. Aberdeen and Watertown were from 4 to nearly 6 inches below normal for the year while Mobridge and Timber Lake were 4 to over 7 inches above normal. The chart below shows these numbers in more detail.

The winter of 2013-2014, which includes December 2013, January 2014 and February 2014, went down as one of the coldest winters on record for central and northeast South Dakota as well as west central Minnesota.  Aberdeen, Pierre, Watertown, Sisseton, along with Wheaton, Minnesota all had one of their top ten coldest December through January periods since records began.  In fact, Wheaton had its third coldest winter on record with Aberdeen having its eighth coldest winter on record.  Sisseton had its sixth coldest and Watertown had its seventh coldest winter on record.  Last winter featured countless clipper systems moving across the region bringing blizzards, high winds, along with extreme wind chills.  An interesting fact about Aberdeen for last winter was the number of sub-zero nights along with nights of 10 degrees below zero or less.  Aberdeen was fourth on record with low temperatures less than zero with 66 days and fourth on record with 42 days of 10 degrees below zero or lower.

The summer of 2014 also finished out as one of the top ten coolest on record for several locations across the region.  Aberdeen, Pierre, Mobridge, and Wheaton, Minnesota were all among the top ten coolest summers on record.  Pierre had its sixth coolest on record with Aberdeen having its seventh coolest summer on record.  Mobridge had their ninth coolest summer on record with Wheaton having their tenth coolest summer on record.

Some of the highlights for 2014 were the extremely windy and cold January, the record cold February, the March 31st blizzard, the May 30th heavy rains and flash flooding in parts of Hyde, Hand, and Edmunds counties, the June 18th tornadoes, the very wet and cool June, and dry and cool July.  Other 2014 highlights include, the August 23rd and 24th heavy rains and flash flooding in and around Aberdeen,  the cool and wet August,  the dry and warm September and October, the record cold November, and the warm December.

For this winter so far through December 31st, 2013 Pierre is the only location with significantly above normal snowfall with 19.4 inches or 8.2 inches above normal.  Aberdeen has had only 8.8 inches of snowfall or nearly 6 inches below normal through December 31st, 2013. Watertown, Sisseton, and Mobridge were all close to normal with snowfall amounts from 10 to 15 inches through December 31st.  

2014 Monthly Weather Statistics and Events

January 2014

-Powerful Alberta clippers brought a month of extremes with high winds, extreme wind chills, along with six blizzards.

-Fifteen to 20 days with wind gusts over 30 mph with 5 to 10 days with wind gusts over 40 mph.  Peak wind gusts for the month were from 54 to 69 mph.

-Large temperature swings with highs for the month in the 40s and lower 50s and lows in the single digits and teens below zero.  Temperatures differences between highs and lower were as much as 60 to 70 degrees.

-Some of the lowest wind chills in years occurred on January 5th and 6th with wind chills from as low as 40 below to 56 below zero across the region.  

February 2014

-Very cold with average temperatures from 9 to 11 degrees below normal. Top fifteen coldest Februarys on record.  Wheaton had its third coldest February on record with the Sisseton the ninth coldest.

March 2014

-Pierre had its all-time record low temperature for March of 20 degrees below zero on the 1st and 2nd and then tied their record high of 70 degrees on March 9th. The storm on March 31st featured rain, freezing rain, heavy sleet, heavy snow, thunderstorms, hail,  wind gusts to 40 to 60 mph, along with some funnel clouds. Two to 10 inches of snow combined with the high winds to bring blizzard conditions across the region. It was amazing in west central Minnesota where a tornado touched down, blizzard conditions occurred just a few hours later.

April 2014

-Cooler than normal with near to above normal precipitation across the region.

May 2014

-Very cold start to May with average temperatures nearly 10 degrees below normal by the middle of May.  Very warm to hot conditions from the 29th through the 31st with highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s across the region.  On May 30th, very heavy rains of 3 to nearly 7 inches caused flash flooding across parts of Hyde, Hand, and Edmunds counties.

June 2014

-Very wet and cool. Monthly rainfall amounts ranged from 3 to 10 inches across the region. Rainfall amounts across southeast South Dakota ranged from an astounding 10 to 16 inches resulting in widespread flooding and damage.  Sioux Falls recorded their wettest June on record with 13.70 inches. The 9.89 inches at Timber Lake was their wettest June on record. The 8.67 inches at Sisseton was their second wettest June.  Mobridge tied for their third wettest with 7.91 inches.  Also, five tornadoes touched down in Hyde, Buffalo, and Hand counties with two farms receiving damage. This was the same day as the devastating tornado in Wessington Springs.

July 2014

-A dry and cool month. The rainfall shut down for a month across the region with several locations having among their driest Julys on record. Rainfall deficits were from 1 to 3 inches across the region. Aberdeen had its fifth driest July since 1893 with 0.70 inches. Kennebec had their fourth driest July since 1893 with only 0.24 inches. Timber Lake had their sixth driest July with only 0.55 inches.  Ipswich had their driest July on record with only 0.15 inches.  Aberdeen, Sisseton, Pierre, and Wheaton, Minnesota all had their top ten coolest Julys on record.

August 2014

-Wet and cool.  The average daily high temperatures for the month were in the top ten coolest for all locations across the region.  Wheaton, Pierre, and Mobridge were all in the top five coolest Augusts for high temperatures.  Mobridge was second coolest on average highs with 6.4 degrees below normal. Pierre had their third coolest average high on record with 5.2 degrees below normal.  Wheaton had its fifth coolest average high on record with 3.2 degrees below normal.  After a dry July, several locations had one of their top five wettest Augusts on record.  Timber Lake was the wettest on record with 5.82 inches while Mobridge had their third wettest August on record with 4.76 inches. Aberdeen had their fourth wettest August on record with 6.19 inches.  After having their driest July on record with 0.15 inches, Ipswich had their second wettest August on record with 6.28 inches.  On August 23rd and 24th, 2 to over 4 inches of rain in and around Aberdeen caused flash flooding mainly in eastern Aberdeen where some cars were stranded and people had to be rescued.

September 2014

-The twelve month cooler than normal trend ended with near to slightly above normal temperatures for September.  September was also drier than normal.

October 2014

-Warmer and drier than normal across the region with average temperatures from 2 to 3 degrees above normal.  Rainfall amounts were 1 to 2 inches below normal for the month with the drought area expanding across parts of northeast South Dakota.

November 2014

-Very cold with bitter Arctic air dominating for much of the month.  The month started out warm with highs in the 50s and 60s. After a snowstorm early on, Arctic air moved in and pretty much remained through the month.  Snowfall amounts from 3 to 10 inches occurred across northern and northeast South Dakota on the 9th and 10th.  Average monthly temperatures were from 6 to 8 degrees below normal with all locations finishing out in their top ten coldest on record.  For the entire state, South Dakota had its tenth coldest November on record.

So does a cold snap in November provide any clues to upcoming winter conditions? The short answer, thankfully, is not really. The chart below compares this year with November of 1985, which is the coldest November on record over the last 100 years. However, the winter of 1985-86 was actually relatively mild with less than 25" of snow. Overall, 1985-86 was dominated by La Nina conditions, whereas we are currently headed into an El Nino. These abnormally low temperatures have origins back in the Pacific Ocean about a week ago. The remnants of Typhoon Nuri caused the jet stream to buckle, forcing Arctic air into the region.

December 2014

-Warmer than normal. The month featured quite a few days with low clouds and fog across the region.  A short-lived blizzard occurred across parts of northeast South Dakota and west central Minnesota on December 15th.  At Aberdeen, only four days were below zero in December with 19 days below zero last December 2013.




Temperature Data





Warmest Temperature/Date

91 / Jul 5th

93 / May 30th

91 / May 31st

90 / Jul 11th

Coldest Temperature/Date

-27 / Jan 2nd

-24 / Jan 2nd

-23 / Jan 7th

-27 / Jan 2nd

Average Yearly High/Departure from Normal

52.6 / -2.0

52.0 / -2.5

50.3 / -4.8

50.9 / -2.7

Average Yearly Low/Departure from Normal

28.6 / -2.9

31.2 / -1.8

30.2 / -2.8

30.1 / -2.4

Yearly Average/Departure from Normal

40.6 / -2.4

41.6 / -2.1

40.3 / -3.8

40.5 / -2.5

Precipitation/Wind Data


Yearly Precipitation / Departure from Normal

17.78 / -3.94

23.70 / +1.37

23.05 / +0.67

16.43 / -5.65

Highest Wind Gust MPH / Date

69 / Jan 16th

66 / July 21st


56 / Mar 31st


Temperature Data




Timber Lake

Warmest Temperature/Date

104 / Jul 21st

106 / Jul 21st

95 / Jul 20th

96 / Jul 20th

Coldest Temperature/Date

-20 / Mar 2nd

-22 / Mar 2nd

-19 / Feb 10th

-19 / Feb 6th

Average Yearly High/Departure from Normal

57.0 / -2.2

60.8 / -0.1

54.5 / -2.3

54.6 / -1.6

Average Yearly Low/Departure from Normal

32.7 / -2.9

32.3 / -1.0

31.4 / -1.7

31.3 / -0.7

Yearly Average/Departure from Normal

44.9 / -2.5

46.6 / -0.4

42.9 / -2.0

43.0 / -1.2

Precipitation/Wind Data


Yearly Precipitation / Departure from Normal

18.77 / -1.24

15.43 / -1.92

21.81 / +3.94

24.91 / +7.29

Highest Wind Gust MPH / Date

64 / Jun 28th


62 / Jul 24th