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2022 holds the record for severe thunderstorm warnings as of July 5

2022 severe thunderstorm warnings in South Dakota through July 5.
2022 severe thunderstorm warnings in South Dakota through July 5.

The National Weather Service has issued 561 severe thunderstorm warnings in South Dakota as of July 5. That is over 100 more than the previous highest number of recorded warnings for that timeframe.

Ryan Vipond is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Aberdeen. He said the year has been an anomaly for severe weather.

“But you know, this is just the first half of the season, so you got to kind of take that into account comparing that to the previous seasons," said Vipond.

While there does appear to be an increasing trend in the number of severe thunderstorms, the National Weather Service says it’s important to note that the way we predict storms has become more precise and that the standards have changed over time.

Laura Edwards is the state climatologist. She said it’s too early to say what is causing the increase in storms this year.

“The research I've read and followed in the last several years has not led to any distinct tie between frequency or intensity of summer severe weather with climate change,” Edwards said. “Most of the research, so far, up into this point has been inconclusive as far as summer severe weather and relation to climate change in our region.”

The National Weather Service agrees that there is currently no clear cause for this year’s increase in summer severe weather.

Joshua is the business and economics reporter with SDPB News.