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Showers and thunderstorms may produce heavy to excessive rainfall along the east coast today. The associated rainfall will likely create localized areas of flash and urban flooding. An extremely dangerous heat wave will shift into portions of the central and eastern U.S. late this weekend, lasting through the next work week. Widespread daily record high temperatures are expected. Read More >

Winter 2013 – 2014 Review

December through February of 2013-2014 went down as one of the coldest periods on record across central and northeast South Dakota as well as west central Minnesota.  The average winter temperatures were only in the single digits or from 5 to 10 degrees below normal.  Aberdeen, Watertown, Sisseton, and Wheaton, Minnesota all ranked in the top ten coldest winters on record.   This winter paled in comparison to the frigid winter of 1935-36 when the average temperatures were from 5 to 7 degrees colder.  Last winter also consisted of many days with strong winds which brought bitter cold wind chills along with widespread blowing snow.

Aberdeen, SD:  (1893 – 2014)

Coldest

1935 – 1936

2.2

Warmest

1930 – 1931

27.8

Last Year

2013 – 2014

7.4

Normal

1980 – 2010

15.1

  • Aberdeen had their fourth coldest December on record with an average temperature of 6.5 degrees.
  • Aberdeen had an average temperature of 6.6 degrees in February tying for the 13th coldest on record.
  • Aberdeen had 66 days with low temperatures below zero.
  • Overall, Aberdeen had their 8th coldest winter on record.
  • Despite the cold winter, Aberdeen had high temperatures of 32 degrees or above for 11 straight days from January 10th to January 20th with a total of 16 days for the entire month.  January 1919 had the most days of 32 degrees or warmer with 24 days.
  • Last winter, Aberdeen measured 32.7 inches of snowfall.  Normal snowfall for the season is 38.1 inches.

Watertown, SD:  (1893 – 2014)

Coldest

1935 – 1936

2.6

Warmest

1930 – 1931

26.6

Last Year

2013 – 2014

7.8

Normal

1980 – 2010

15.1

  • Watertown had their fourth coldest December on record with an average temperature of 7.9 degrees.
  • Watertown had an average temperature of 6.8 degrees in February which was the 14th coldest on record.
  • Overall, Watertown had their 7th coldest winter on record.
  • Watertown had 13 days in January with high temperatures of 32 degrees or warmer.  January 1990 had the most days of 32 degrees or warmer with 23 days.
  • Last winter, Watertown measured 28.2 inches of snowfall.  Normal snowfall for the season is 35.9 inches.

 

Sisseton, SD:  (1900 – 2014)

Coldest

1935 – 1936

2.8

Warmest

1986 – 1987

26.8

Last Year

2013 – 2014

9.4

Normal

1980 – 2010

15.1

  • Sisseton had their second coldest December on record with an average temperature of 8.4 degrees. 
  • Sisseton had an average temperature of 9.5 degrees in February which was the 9th coldest on record.
  • Overall, Sisseton had their 6th coldest winter on record.
  • Sisseton had 13 days in January with high temperatures of 32 degrees or warmer.  January 1942 had the most days of 32 degrees or warmer with 21 days.
  • Last winter, Sisseton measured 37.8 inches of snowfall.  Normal snowfall for the season is 45.5 inches.

 

Wheaton, MN:  (1914 – 2014)

Coldest

1916 – 1917

4.7

Warmest

1986 – 1987

26.8

Last Year

2013 – 2014

6.4

Normal

1980 – 2010

15.1

  • Wheaton tied for the third coldest December on record with an average temperature of 6.9 degrees. 
  • Wheaton had an average temperature of 5.7 degrees in February which was the 3rd coldest on record.
  • Overall, Wheaton had their 3rd coldest winter on record.
  • Last winter, Wheaton measured 28.0 inches of snowfall.  Normal snowfall for the season is 43.3 inches.

 

Pierre, SD:  (1933 – 2014)

Coldest

1978 – 1979

9.8

Warmest

1991 – 1992

30.2

Last Year

2013 – 2014

16.2

Normal

1980 – 2010

22.0

  • Pierre had their fifth coldest December on record with an average temperature of 13.2 degrees.
  • Pierre had an average temperature of 14.9 degrees in February tying for the 14th coldest on record.
  • Overall, Pierre had their 18th coldest winter on record.
  • Pierre had 19 days in January with high temperatures of 32 degrees or warmer.  January 2006 had the most days of 32 degrees or warmer with 30 days.
  • Last winter, Pierre measured 34.6 inches of snowfall.  Normal snowfall for the season is 31.9 inches.

 

Mobridge, SD:  (1910 – 2014)

Coldest

1935 – 1936  

4.8

Warmest

1930 – 1931

27.3

Last Year

2013 – 2014

12.2

Normal

1980 – 2010

18.4

  • Mobridge had their tenth coldest December on record with an average temperature of 10.3 degrees.
  • Mobridge had an average temperature of 10.4 degrees in February tying for the 12th coldest on record.
  • Overall, Mobridge had their 20th coldest winter on record.
  • Mobridge had 16 days in January with high temperature of 32 degrees or warmer.  January 2006 had the most days of 32 degrees or warmer with 27 days.
  • Last winter, Mobridge measured 44.3 inches of snowfall.  Normal snowfall for the season is 31.1 inches.

 

 

 

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Top News Story published on March 1st, 2014: 

The ongoing winter of 2013-2014 will go down as one of the coldest December through February periods on record across central and northeast South Dakota as well as west central Minnesota.  Countless clipper systems moving across the region brought periods of snowfall, Arctic air, strong winds along with bitter cold wind chills and blowing snow.  Despite the lack of snowfall, the strong winds and Arctic cold resulted in several blizzard and high wind warnings along with many wind chill advisories and warnings.  The meteorological winter is the period from December 1st through February 28th even though winter conditions in our region can begin much earlier and last much longer.

The snow cover or lack thereof for this winter had much to do with how the final average temperature rankings.  At this time in the winter season, the snowfall is actually below normal for most locations.  The snowfall up through February 28th across the region actually shows Pierre and Mobridge receiving more snowfall than the locations across the east.   In the east, the snowfall amounts ranged from 17.4 inches at Watertown to 24.4 inches at Aberdeen.  In central South Dakota, the snowfall amounts ranged from 24.9 inches at Pierre to 31.4 inches at Mobridge.  Despite having more snow than locations in the east, Pierre and Mobridge were able to melt most of it off while the east remained snow covered.  Snow cover allows for better cooling at night and less warming during the daytime.  Therefore, this winter could have been several degrees colder with a deeper and more widespread snowpack across the region.  It is a good thing we did not have to find out how cold it may have been.  With March historically being one of our snowiest months, seasonal snowfall totals could change quite a bit.

The final winter average temperatures in the charts below show that all locations in the east had one of their top ten coldest December through February periods on record.  The years shown in the charts are for the winters ending in that year.  For Aberdeen and Watertown, the records date back to 1893.  Wheaton had an average winter temperature of 6.4 degrees which was 3rd in their all-time rankings dating back to 1914.  Sisseton was 6th in their rankings with 9.4 degrees dating back to 1900.  Watertown had their 7th coldest winter on record with an average temperature of 7.8 degrees.  The December through February average temperature at Aberdeen finished out in 8th place at 7.4 degrees.  Across the western part of the region with the lack of snow cover, Pierre and Mobridge had one of their top twenty coldest winters on record finishing at 18th and 20th, respectively.   The charts also highlight some of recent cold winters of the last 20 years.  Most, if not all, of these winters had much more snowfall as compared to this year.  The winter of 2013-14 pales in comparison to the frigid winter of 1935-36.  The average winter temperatures of 1935-36 were from 5 to 7 degrees colder than the winter of 2013-14. Note:   Wheaton does not show 1935-36 in the charts below due to some missing data during this time.    

Aberdeen, SD:  (1893-2014)

 

Rank

Value

Year

1

2.1

1936

2

4.1

1979

3

5.1

1978

4

5.8

1917

5

6.6

1965, 1910

7

7.2

1956

8

7.4

2014

9

7.5

1950

10

7.7

2001

11

7.8

1997

 Pierre, SD:  (1933-2014)

 

Rank

Value

Year

1

9.8

1936, 1979

3

10.3

1978

4

11.1

1950

5

11.8

1956

6

12.2

1949

7

13.5

1965

8

13.7

1952

9

13.8

2010

11

14.7

1972

12

15.3

1969, 1937

14

15.5

1959

15

15.6

2011, 1971

17

16.1

1997

18

16.2

2014

19

16.3

1993

20

16.4

2001

Wheaton, MN:  (1914-2014)

 

Rank

Value

Year

1

4.7

1917

2

5.6

1979

3

6.4

2014

4

6.9

2009

5

7.0

1982

6

7.1

1918

7

7.5

1994, 1978

9

8.2

1950

10

8.5

2008

Watertown, SD:  (1893-2014)

 

Rank

Value

Year

1

2.5

1936

2

4.6

1979

3

5.2

1978

4

6.0

1917

5

6.8

1904

6

6.9

1918

7

7.8

2014

8

8.5

1997, 1994, 1982, 1965

12

8.8

2011

 Sisseton, SD: (1900-2014)

 

Rank

Value

Year

1

2.8

1936

2

5.2

1979

3

6.8

1978

4

7.3

1904

5

8.6

1982

6

9.4

2014

7

9.6

1994

8

9.9

2011

9

10.0

1965

10

10.2

2009, 2001, 1956

 Mobridge, SD:  (1900-2014)  

Rank

Value

Year

1

4.7

1936

2

6.3

1979

3

6.6

1978, 1950

5

9.4

1956

6

9.8

1949

7

10.6

1912

8

10.7

1965, 1972

10

11.0

2010

11

11.1

1937

12

11.2

1971

13

11.3

1929

14

11.5

1997

15

11.7

1969

16

11.8

1952,1943,1994

19,20

11.9,12.2

1982,2014