The Pierre area will see temperatures climb back into typical summer levels this weekend before falling about 20 degrees early next week as the first day of fall approaches.
The National Weather Service’s extended forecast as of Friday morning predicts temperatures to rise back into the low 90s on Saturday and Sunday before falling back to the high 60s and low 70s on Monday and Tuesday with a slight chance of thunderstorms and showers on Sunday night and Monday.
“We haven’t switched into fall yet, but it looks like we can have some pretty cool temperatures starting to come into next week,” Lead Forecaster Dan Mohr of the Aberdeen NWS office said. “Right now we’re looking at around 90 for the next couple days in central South Dakota.”
Mohr told the Capital Journal that it is still difficult to say when temperatures will take the final drop into fall and eventually winter.
“We’re looking at temperatures, coolest we’ve had so far this season, maybe some chances of showers and thunderstorms coming in for looks like Sunday night into Monday,” Mohr said. “It’s hard to say how much with that right now, but the thing is (the) cooldown Monday is going to be maybe around 70 in the Pierre area, same thing for Tuesday, Wednesday, warm up maybe to the mid, upper-70s for Wednesday into Thursday, but this time of year, it still pretty much can stay pretty warm into October. So we’re looking at some time in October, early October (is the) average frost and freeze date for central South Dakota.”
But temperatures could remain high through early October, as well.
“We have had severe weather and heavy rain and some pretty warm days into October in the past,” Mohr said. “We’ll probably end up with more cooler temperatures, which we are... looking at Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That’s the coolest it’s been in a while, but we’re starting to make that transition to more of these cooler days. As we get into October, you’ll get more frequent cooler days, so it can still get pretty warm, too, and also get a lot of showers and thunderstorms yet still into October, but usually that’s when the transition occurs.”
Mohr said 0.25 inches of rain were recorded at Pierre Regional Airport on Monday and a trace on Wednesday. Monday’s storm notably dampened Pierre as the Oceti Sakowin March for Our Children wound its way through downtown to Hilger’s Gulch.
As far as drought conditions are concerned, the area has seen measurable improvement after rain rolled through the area on Monday. No part of Hughes County or Stanley County is still in “extreme” drought, under which row crop loss is significant, though much of both counties are still under “severe” drought, in which hay is short and fire season is extended. Bordering southeastern sections of Hughes and Stanley counties are in “moderate” drought.
According to the NWS Climate Prediction Center, drought is still expected to persist throughout most of South Dakota — including the central part of the state — as well as neighboring eastern Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and some sections of Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota. The Climate Prediction Center also has a normal October, November and December predicted for all South Dakota temperature-wise.