City of Sioux Falls

The value of Sioux Falls building permits in March is higher than the city has ever seen in one month. It comes in at more than $110 million. That’s $20 million more than the previous record set in April two years ago, and that came from a partial permit for the events center. 

Let’s break down the numbers. Two years ago, construction valuation for building permits in Sioux Falls during March was $64.2 million. In 2014 it was $63.6 million.

SDSU Extension

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has released its seasonal drought outlook. For April through June, forecasters expect drier than average conditions for the eastern edge of South Dakota. The latest weekly U.S. drought monitor map released on Thursday shows 82 percent of the state as either abnormally dry or in moderate drought conditions.

Storm chaser Alex Schueth managed to capture a timelapse of a rare cloud formation called a undulatus asperatus during a storm over Lincoln, Nebraska. The rolling pattern formed by the clouds almost gives the impression you’re underwater looking up at the surface at waves. Watch it

Preparing for Disasters and Emergencies

Sep 8, 2014
Charles Michael Ray

September is National Preparedness Month and the Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages everyone to be ready for disasters and emergencies. On September 30 people are also encouraged to participate in America’s PrepareAthon, a national day of action. Daniel Nyquist, community preparedness officer for the FEMA Region 8 office in Denver, joined Dakota Midday and discussed steps to take to be ready for local risks and hazards.

Susan Sanders, warning coordinator with the National Weather Service, spoke on the science of weather and weather safety during the Neutrino Day Science Cafe in . The presentation was recorded live from the Bumping Buffalo in Lead.

Mid-July is usually one of the hottest times of the year in South Dakota. But with lows in the 40s and highs in the 60s in much of the state, it feels more like fall. Although some are referring to the unseasonably chilly air as a return of the polar vortex, it’s not. Climatologists and meteorologists say it’s simply a cooler than normal Canadian air mass hitting the region. South Dakota. State climatologist Dennis Todey joined Dakota Midday and discussed what’s causing the cool temperatures and what their impact could be.


Pictures comparing specific locations in Wessington Springs, South Dakota before and after a tornado hit the town on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.

Mobile Links: Pt. One on YouTube, Pt. Two on YouTube, Gallery on Flickr

The Argus Leader

Dave Hintz is the Warning Coordinator for the NWS in Aberdeen. He's currently stations at the Emergency Operations Center in Pierre to assist with flood and tornado operations in Wessington Springs. He joined the program to explain the wild weather pattern that has rocked South Dakota over the last week, and to clarify the differences in different storm warnings.  

Tornado Hits Wessington Springs

Jun 19, 2014
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

UPDATE:  Extensive Tornado Damage slide show and audio here.

A tornado hit the town of Wessington Springs, South Dakota at about 8 p.m. Wednesday night.  The tornado did significant damage to homes and businesses; some buildings are a total loss.

Wet Weather Gardening Tips From Norm Evers

Jun 16, 2014

Norm Evers is Instructor Emeritus of Horticulture at South Dakota State University, and he owns Norm's Greenhouse and Nursery in Aurora, SD. He joined Dakota Midday's bi-weekly gardening segment to discuss the impact of the recent record-rainfall on lawns, gardens and trees.

Record Rainfall Presents Problems for South Dakotans

Jun 16, 2014
South Dakota State University

Over the weekend, parts of eastern South Dakota saw more rain than is normal for the entire month of June. Sioux Falls set a 24-hour rainfall record with 4.65 inches between Saturday and Sunday.  Laura Edwards is Climate Field Specialist with South Dakota State University Extension. She joined the program to discuss the weather pattern and what it means for South Dakotans.

Climate Change

Apr 18, 2014

Dr. John Stamm with the United States Geological Survey in Rapid City spoke with Charles Michael Ray about his presentation at the annual Western South Dakota Hydrology Conference earlier this month about climate change. To view the final draft of the April 2014 IPCC report, go to:

Colder Temperatures Expected In Summer For SD

Mar 24, 2014

Cooler than average temperatures are expected to persist through the remainder of the spring season in South Dakota, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center. The most recent update was released March 20, 2014, which includes projections for temperature, precipitation and drought for the spring and early summer. Most of the state will likely have below average temperatures in April, and could linger through May and beyond for the state's northern counties.

Arctic Ice Loss And The Loopy Jet Stream

Jan 21, 2014

If you think the weather has gone crazy in recent years some scientists say you can blame the melting of the polar ice cap.

New research ties together the massive summer ice loss over the North Pole with a weakening of the jet stream leading to changes in the weather in mid latitudes.

Take for example the record flooding in 2011, the drought of 2012, and again floods in some areas around the country in 2013. 

SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray spoke with a lead researcher of the study and with a regional climatologist to ask if this pattern of extreme weather will continue.

Arctic Air Grips State

Dec 5, 2013

South Dakota is now in the middle of a bitter cold snap with the kind of frigid temperatures not seen in several years.  

In the coming days parts of the Black Hills will see high temperatures that are still below zero.

On this Dakota Digest we check in with our reporters around the state about the cold weather. 

We begin in Aberdeen with SDPB’s Jenifer Jones  who takes a look at  snow totals on the ground in the wake of the arctic air blast .

Winter Weather Approaching South Dakota

Nov 25, 2013

The temperature and precipitation outlook for December in South Dakota remains somewhat mixed in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration latest seasonal climate outlook released last week.  For South Dakota, this means equal chances of below average or above average temperature for the next month.  SDSU Extension Climate Field Specialist Laura Edwards says the same probabilities hold for precipitation as well, adding that just to our north there is a higher likelihood of cooler than average temperatures in December.

Snowiest Year In South Dakota?

Oct 9, 2013

Preliminary calculations by climatologists show that 2013 is now in the running for the snowiest year on record in Rapid City. Although numbers are still being tallied, when combined with all the snow from last winter and this October storm, it adds up to just over 85 inches.

Harvest Season Reports

Oct 1, 2013

After a wet spring that caused delayed planting, the fall harvest season is getting underway. Early reports show that corn is abnormally being harvested before soybeans because of the lag in soybean maturity from the late planting. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, parts of South Dakota are abnormally dry with some severe drought in areas of southwestern and northeastern South Dakota and state climatologist Dennis Todey discussed the reports.

Heat Advisory In Effect For Parts Of South Dakota

Sep 6, 2013

The high temperatures of late summer continue as a heat advisory goes into effect today and continues into the evening hours for areas of the state. The regions affected range from south central South Dakota all the way up through the Missouri River Valley into north central South Dakota. Heat indexes are expected to be in the 100 to 105 degree range.

Todd Heitkamp is with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He says this heat advisory is pretty normal.

Hot Weather Entering South Dakota

Aug 20, 2013

A surge of hot weather is hitting the state this week with temperatures reaching into the 90s and even the 100s in some places. This is expected to help farmers with their row crops. Because some crops got in later and cooler conditions this summer, crops are a little behind in development. But rain is needed to fill in pods in soybeans and grain fill in corn. According to most accounts, pollination has been good, but now those crops need moisture in the next few weeks.

Weather Getting Hotter Across South Dakota

Jul 22, 2013

Climatologically, the middle of July brings the warmest period of the year for the state. This week, that climatology is being borne out with heat advisories over parts of the state because of excessive heat and humidity according to Todey. Despite the recent dryness in some areas, crop conditions have held steady or improved over the last several weeks. However, because of the early season wet and cool conditions, crops are delayed in development. Only 6 percent of corn is tasseling compared to the five-year average of 9 percent.

Pennington County Master Gardener Joe Hillberry

Jun 10, 2013

Pennington County Master Gardener Joe Hillberry talks about gardening tips for Dakota Midday's semi-regular gardening segment.

The Dangers Of Stormchasing

Jun 4, 2013

Tim Samaras, one of the world's best-known storm chasers, died in Friday's El Reno, Oklahoma, tornado along with his son, Paul Samaras, and chase partner Carl Young. Samaras, who chased storms for 30 years, was best known for sampling conditions inside a tornado, and measuring the lowest barometric pressure drop ever recorded inside of a tornado --the one that destroyed the town of Manchester, South Dakota, on June 24, 2003. Heitkamp knew and worked with Tim Samaras.

The Causes Of Climate Change

May 30, 2013

SDPB news reporter Victoria Wicks visited with Don Kopp, a forestry consultant and State Representative from Rapid City, and Pat Zimmerman, former Director of the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, to get their takes on what causes the climate to change.

Rain And Dandelions

May 28, 2013

Norm Evers of Norm's Greenhouse and Nursery in Aurora discussed the latest challenges to planting and maintaining gardens and lawns.

Drought Monitor Index

May 14, 2013

State climatologist Dennis Todey joins the program to discuss the latest drought conditions in South Dakota. The April snows and early May rains have been easing the drought across South Dakota. The most recent drought monitor index has about 45 percent of the state in the severe drought category and 21 percent in the extreme category. But unlike last summer, none of the state is in the exceptional drought category. However, spring snow, frost and cold along with soggy weather has led farmers to push back planting.

Resilient Landscapes

Mar 25, 2013

Tuesday, at 7:00 p.m., the Journey Museum in Rapid City presents "Resilient Landscapes: The History and Future of Black Hills Floods."  The immersive program uses scientific data to visualize the 1972 Black Hills flood, paleo "mega" flooding and more recent flooding from extreme weather.  Media artist and theorist David McConville and Journey Museum Executive Director Raymond Summers described the program which is a partnership with the Worldviews Network, a NOAA-funded collaboration including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the California Academy of Sciences, NOVA/WGBH in Boston,

First Day Of Spring/Gardening

Mar 21, 2013

Today is the first day of spring - even though temperatures remain below normal in South Dakota.  Regular Dakota Midday guest Norm Evers of Norm's Greenhouse in Aurora answered questions about spring planting.

Spring Weather: Present & Future

Mar 21, 2013
Ashley Hubregtse

Geese flying north, robins, baseball and sunshine are just a few signs of spring.  It’s a season of the year people really look forward to—especially if the winter has been long and cold.

There aren’t many people sad to see winter go; most of us in the Northern Hemisphere look forward to the day and time the sun crosses the equator on its journey north—that’s the Vernal Equinox, the beginning of spring.  It happened at 6:02 a.m. Central time Wednesday. It just didn’t feel like spring in these parts.

The winter storm that is being tracked is said to be in Southern South Dakota by daybreak. The heaviest amounts of snow are said to be in Northern Kansas and a large portion of Nebraska. South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Chris Laughery caught up with Brad Adams, a hydro-meteorological technician with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls. He begins today’s Dakota Digest by telling us where this storm originated.