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NOAA releases new climate normals Tuesday

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 6:28 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -- Every ten years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration releases updated climate normals, which reflects on data over a 30-year span.

The latest update, released Tuesday, shows the 30-year average of temperature and precipitation. The latest normal runs from 1991-2020 and it’s indicating most of the U.S. is trending warmer, with the exception of parts of the north-central U.S. For precipitation, the eastern roughly two thirds of the U.S. is trending wetter, with the western U.S. seen much drier weather taking over.

So how do the numbers play out in our area?

Meteorologist Austin Haskins dug through the data and here’s what the data shows:

SIOUX FALLS: Nine of the 12 months have seen an increase in the overall average temperature. June, September and December saw an increase of 2 degrees or more. January, February and April saw a slight decrease in the overall average temperature. For precipitation, each month saw an increase in precipitation, with the exception of March and November. Snowfall saw a 1.8% increase as well, with March and November seeing a slight decrease. The biggest temperature change was in the fall with temperatures on average up 3.4%. The biggest precipitation change was in the winter, with a 24.3% increase.

ABERDEEN: Aberdeen saw temperatures up across the board and even at a slightly higher clip than Sioux Falls. Precipitation was up very slightly despite seeing slightly drier conditions for the spring, summer and fall. Snowfall saw a significant increase as well, up 12.1%. The biggest temperature change was in the winter with temperatures on average up 8.0%. The biggest precipitation change was also in the winter, with a 15.6% increase.

PIERRE: Unlike Sioux Falls and Aberdeen, Pierre actually saw a slight decrease in temperatures overall. Precipitation was slightly above average, with the spring and fall months seeing a slight decrease. Snowfall increased by nearly 17% (average increased from 31.9″ to 37.2″).

For more in-depth analysis on the new data released, you can head to https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/us-climate-normals/. Here, you can select a location nearest to you and look at the latest data. If you want to look back at the last climate normal (which gathers the data from 1981-2010), head to https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/us-climate-normals/ , click product information in the top right corner, click previous versions and click launch quick access

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