A look at the dry spells in KELOLAND throughout 2020


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We’ve dealt with a lot of dry weather this year. Meteorologist Adam Rutt looks at some notable dry spells across KELOLAND.

If you thought to yourself that this year has seemed rather dry, you’d be correct.

The difference between 2019 and 2020 has been like night and day. While the former featured record setting amounts of rainfall, the latter has seen multiple spells of extended dry weather.

I went through the numbers so far this year to see what kind of dry spells we’ve had to deal with. All four observed locations have dealt with multiple double-digit stretches of no measurable rainfall. For Sioux Falls and Pierre, their longest dry spells are ongoing, with the count at 24 and 22 days respectively.

Aberdeen’s longest stretch of 16 days will likely be eclipsed by its ongoing run, which currently stands at 13 days. Rapid City sets the bar with a 33-day stretch of no measurable rain around the beginning of fall. We’ll have to wait and see if this current run will get close to that mark.

These dry stretches may have been nice for outdoor activities as well as harvesting in the fall, but it used up last year’s surplus in a hurry… leaving us in a net deficit that will carry into 2021.

If the year ended today, Sioux Falls would have the 6th driest year on record, and Aberdeen would also have a Top 10 driest year. While there is the chance to finally see some moisture by the end of next weekend, it will very much be a case of too little, too late.

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