Most of us would agree December was cold. But as the numbers show, we've had it worse.
In Sioux Falls, the average temperature was 11.6 degrees, making it the 12th coldest on record and about 7.6 degrees below normal. That's cold, but you can see we've had it worse. As recently at 2000, the December average temperature was only 7.6 degrees. December of 1983 was in a league of its own, with a bone-chilling 2.1 degree average between the high and the lows for the month.
Aberdeen, Watertown, and Pierre all ended in the top 10 coldest Decembers on record. Aberdeen had one of the coldest temperatures of the month, -27 on December 7th.
At that time, some of us thought the worst of the winter cold would cycle through the early part of the month and warmer numbers would return. While we have seen a few warmer days, the worst of the winter cold is yet to come as the data points toward extremely cold air returning early next week.
It's never a good sign when the European model is suggesting "strong breezes" during that time frame with highs well below zero...a story worth watching in the coming days.