SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It was 120 degrees in Usta on July 15, 2006, according to some weather history websites and KELOLAND meteorologists.
The 120 degrees matches the National Weather Service recorded record high on the same day and year in Fort Pierre. The NWS also had the record temperature of 120 on July 5, 1936, four miles northwest of Gann Valley.
Usta’s, pronounced you-sta, name in weather history and memory may last longer than the unincorporated town in Perkins County in the northwestern part of the state. The community was established along Highway 73.
“If you’re old school, you know it as Usta,” said Brenda Kari who works for the county highway department.
Locals say to their knowledge, no one lives in Usta these days. What remains is believed to be the former post office building.
Usta’s post office was established on Aug. 24, 1931. It operated until Aug. 24, 1942, when the mail was moved to Faith, according to 1990 book “South Dakota Post Offices” by Alan H. Patera, John S. Gallagher and Kenneth W. Stach. The South Dakota State Historical Society provided the book.
These are the postmasters who worked in Usta during Julys before 2006 when it was also likely hot there. Mrs. Laura E. McLoy, Don McLoy, Everard R. Alden and Mrs. Le Ora Olson.
Perkins County is hot again this week as temperatures have climbed into the mid-90s to 100 degrees around the state this week.
KELOLAND meteorologist Scot Mundt found some similar July weather patterns of about five to seven days of hot weather back to 2002. Days of 90 degrees or more happened from July 22-28 in 2021, July 22-26 in 2007, July 26-31 in 2006 and July 27–31 in 2002. An anomaly happened in 2012 when the hot stretch lasted from July 13-26.
The NWS has recorded two 110-degree days in Sioux Falls. The first one was on July 17, 1936, and the second was on June 21, 1988.
It’s also been hot in the past in Lemmon, also in Perkins County. Temperatures in Lemmon have been recorded since 1909, according to the NWS. The record high for July 26 is 106 degrees in 1935.
Aberdeen, in Brown County, hit 115 two times in July of 1936, according to the NWS. On July 26, 1931, the temperature reached 112 degrees.
The record high for July 26 in Watertown is 106 degrees set in 1930, according to the NWS.
In more recent July history, it reached 100 on July 7, 2007.
The NWS lists 117 as a record for Pierre. The temperature reached that on July 15, 2006.
The NWS says most 100 degree days in Sioux Falls happen in July. Weather has been recorded for more than 100 years. Since 1893, there have been 136 days in July with temperatures at 100 degrees or higher.
Weather records in Bison, in Perkins County, started in 1916, according to the NWS. The record high for July 26 is 104 degrees in 1933. It hit 111 on two July days in 1936.
Could the Usta/Perkins County area hit another 120-degree day with the weather forecast this week.
“I hope it doesn’t get that high today, anytime soon or ever again,” Kari said.