Hot summer days are not out of the ordinary in August. But it is unusual for our hottest weather of the year to occur heading into September.
The hot weather is a hot topic. KSFY talked with the National Weather Service to see if heat waves like this are common in our climate or perhaps a sign of climate change.
"Through Labor Day weekend and even that first part of September, it does look like we're in a pretty good chance of staying above normal," said Mike Gillispie of the National Weather Service.
So, we may have to get used to the warm weather for a while. High pressure is currently allowing hot, humid air to come up from the south, but there might also be other reasons behind this heat wave.
"Part of it could be that our planting season got started later than normal this year with the late spring, the late start to the summer, that the corn crop is at a little different level of maturity right now and that corn puts off an awful lot of moisture through evapotranspiration and that increases the dew points," said Gillispie.
Dew points indicate the amount moisture in the air. When the dew point approaches 75 degrees, most people can "feel" the thickness of the air as they breathe, since the water vapor content is so high.
"The actual high temperatures, we're really not setting very many high temperature records right now. The reason it's been seeming so warm is the low temperatures are staying up so high and we've got dew point temperatures running in the upper 60s to lower 70s which is kind of abnormal for this year," said Gillispie.
But, Gillispie says you can't really tie today's weather into the long them climate. On the other hand…
"One of the things that we have seen recently that can be probably attributed to climate change is the number of extreme events both hot and cold, both wet and dry," said Gillispie.
And more weather extremes means intense weather events, such as lengthy droughts, heat waves, heavy rain and violent storms, may become more frequent.
"On a global scale, if it continues to warm there could be impacts," said Gillispie.
Things like agriculture, insects, bacteria, and viruses could all be affected, but Gillispie doesn't rush to any conclusions.
"There's still a lot of uncertainty as to what drives long term climate," said Gillispie.
While we are feeling the burn, folks in Alaska and much of the Arctic are facing record challenging cold. Gillispie says this is nature's way of trying to balance things out.
Tuesday, December 10 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-11 04:34:24 GMT
For people who spend time outdoors, hypothermia is a very real threat. Symptoms include shivering, confusion and slurred speech. It can take just minutes for these symptoms to appear leading to damageMore >>
Tuesday evening, KSFY News Reporter Tess Hedrick learned that lesson firsthand as she spent three hours in a cold car.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 11:31 PM EST2013-12-11 04:31:23 GMT
Fighting back against cancer is no easy task but for some cancer patients, the cost of getting healthy can be an even harder burden to bear. That's where the Yankton community has stepped in. This smallMore >>
Fighting back against cancer is no easy task but for some cancer patients, the cost of getting healthy can be an even harder burden to bear. That's where the Yankton community has stepped in. This small town by the river has shown that the kindness of strangers is bringing hope and healing.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 11:26 PM EST2013-12-11 04:26:18 GMT
For the second time this year, voters in the Tea area have shot down a bond aimed at absorbing the city's skyrocketing student population. The $10.5 million bond would have paid for an addition to theMore >>
Superintendent Jennifer Lowery tells KSFY News 58.89% of voters said yes to the bond, but they needed 60% for it to pass. That's just 14 votes short.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 7:39 PM EST2013-12-11 00:39:15 GMT
Aris Nance owns the non profit, Sheo. which is an acronym. "Someone helps everyone and together we can all help each other." Nance explained. The organization aims to help the homeless right here inMore >>
Aris Nance owns the non profit, Sheo, which is an acronym. "Someone helps everyone and together we can all help each other." Nance explained. The organization aims to help the homeless right here in South Dakota.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 6:27 PM EST2013-12-10 23:27:37 GMT
After decades of service to South Dakota, a Sioux Falls highway patrol captain announced plans to retire. Captain Kevin Joffer started his career in Viborg, beginning his police work in July 1979. In AprilMore >>
After decades of service to South Dakota, a Sioux Falls highway patrol captain announced plans to retire.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 5:02 PM EST2013-12-10 22:02:54 GMT
AP -- A Texas woman and former actress pleaded guilty Tuesday to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, under a deal that her attorney has said wouldMore >>
A Texas woman and former actress pleaded guilty Tuesday to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 4:31 PM EST2013-12-10 21:31:13 GMT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting a 14 percent drop in dry edible bean production in South Dakota for 2013. The South Dakota office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service isMore >>
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting a 14 percent drop in dry edible bean production in South Dakota for 2013.More >>