It never ends. Meteorologists at the National Weather Service at Aberdeen have predicted that the capital area’s current run of grey days and cold weather will last another three weeks, at least.
The source of this aggressively gray weather, NWS Meteorologist Kari Fleegel said, is a low pressure front cutting almost straight across the country. One stretch of it is crossing southeast over the Rockies, generated by warm eastbound Pacific air clashing with cold mountain winds moving southwest. Another is squatting over the southern plains and stretching east all the way out into the Atlantic, driven by the convergence of warm Gulf and cold polar air streams.
The result, Fleegel said, is that “we’re seeing consistent storms pushing through the plains.”
For the next three to four weeks, Fleegel said, the weather outlook is “averaging below normal temperatures” with “above normal precipitation.”
Given that this Spring has already been one of the wettest of the last decade, according to NWS archival data, the continuing cold temperatures and high rainfall will do more than just ruin picnic plans and fishing forays. It will have a significant effect on South Dakota farmers.
“Everybody’s in the same predicament. The best I can say is ‘misery loves company,’” South Dakota Farmers’ Union President Doug Sombke said, adding that ranchers and crop farmers alike are struggling.
“I know a lot of guys are discontinuing corn, I don’t even know how many are keeping off soybeans...,” Sombke said. “Anybody that calved early this year is having trouble with pneumonia… they just need some sun.”
With many farmers also struggling with the effects of raised tariffs and eroding soils, Sombke said the weather made the outlook for this year rather bleak.
“We’re at a disaster right now, no doubt about it. Or at least at the brink of one,” he said.
A small bit of good news is that we might have some relatively better weather for the holiday weekend.
“As we move into Memorial Day weekend, it will get warmer.” Fleegel said. Current NWS predictions put the average temperature in the capital area between the high 50s and 60s on Friday and Saturday. Sunday may be a bit warmer, and Monday drops down to a mid 50s, low 60s average. Friday to Sunday will also be relatively sunny, Fleegel said, but Monday could see the return of scattered showers.
“It’s going to get a little bit better,” Fleegel said, and with the weather we’ve recently had and will continue to have into June, “a little bit better” may be the best we can hope for.