Storm Center PM Update – Friday, July 2: Drought, fire concerns through the hot 4th of July weekend

Forecast

All but SW South Dakota is in moderate, severe, or extreme drought according to today’s Drought Monitor. And even that SW corner is rated as abnormally dry.

In addition, we are heading into the 4th of July weekend sunny, dry, and hot. Today’s temperatures are much above-normal, with most of KELOLAND pushing into the 90s today.

2 PM

Tonight will be pleasant, with mostly clear skies and overnight lows in the 60s to near 70 degrees, with a light south breeze keeping our temperatures from dropping too much.

Tomorrow will be partly to mostly sunny and even hotter. Sioux Falls and Rapid City will reach the low 90s, while central and NE South Dakota will bake near or even above 100 degrees. Something else that will become a concern this weekend is that winds will increase, out of the south at 15-25 mph, and wildfires could become a dangerous concern. Keep this in mind if using fireworks.

Sunday, the 4th of July holiday, looks hot. Sioux Falls and Rapid City will reach the mid 90s with a partly to mostly sunny sky. Central and NE South Dakota will be even hotter, probably reaching triple digits again. A brisk breeze could certainly contribute to fire concerns. There may be a few sprinkles – western and central South Dakota during the morning, Sioux Falls and SE KELOLAND late in the day. While the storms will not be strong, we’ve added a chance of lightning to the forecast during the evening hours if any storms are able to form in the otherwise dry, hot air.

Our best chances for rainfall will be early next week. Sioux Falls and the SE might get a thundershower on Monday, when temperatures will rise back to the mid to upper 90s. Tuesday brings the highest chance for meaningful rain across KELOLAND, as a cold front drops down from the north, cooling us back to the 80s. Eastern KELOLAND will remain in the 80s on Wednesday, with any lingering showers.

It sill looks like we’ll dry out beginning on Friday, with warmer than normal temperatures continuing through the following weekend (July 10-11).

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