SPEARFISH — The wacky weather we’ve been experiencing in the last couple weeks isn’t so wacky after all.
Susan Sanders of the Rapid City National Weather Service office said May and June are the peak months for heavy rains.
“It is typical for this area. We expect rains, flooding and storms this time of year,” she said.
The storms started a bit later and have pushed into July because of the cool spring and early summer, Sanders said.
The good news is that the area is trending toward a bit drier and warmer weather, Sanders said.
“The rest of the week will be warmer with fewer thunderstorms,” she said. “We’re going to see bigger breaks than one day from the rain.”
Temperatures Wednesday through Sunday are expected in the upper 80s to low 90s.
Storms which moved through western South Dakota Wednesday, Thursday and Friday brought torrential rains to some areas along with hail, strong winds and even a couple tornadoes.
The tornadoes were reported near Allen and Dewey on July 3. A tornado warning was issued for Spearfish Canyon and the city of Spearfish Friday evening. Civil defense sirens sounded. No tornadoes were sighted.
Golf ball sized hail was reported with that storm in the downtown area of Spearfish. Other areas in town missed the hail. Whitewood reported 1.5-inch hail and Tilford 1.25-inch hail from the same storm.
Considerable damage from flooding was reported in Sturgis from rains both Thursday and Friday evenings. Total precipitation from both storms ranged from 5 to more than 7 inches.
Impacted areas included roads, including the S-curves to Fort Meade, and bridges along Bear Butte Creek, with additional flooding along Elk Creek in southern Meade County, northeast of Rapid City.
Some roads closed due to the flooding have now been reopened, but the 7th Street Bridge in Sturgis and Sturgis City Park remain closed.
The abundant rainfall has meant for beautiful lush green hills and amazing fields of clover.
Sanders said the Northern Black Hills area has received 1-4 inches above normal precipitation for the year through June. And July is running above normal already.
For the year to date through June, Lead has received 18.59 inches of precipitation. That compares to the normal 17.26 through June.
Spearfish has received 16.32 inches of precipitation through June. The normal is 12.40 inches.
The Fort Meade reporting station has received 14.54 inches of precipitation as compared to the normal precipitation through June of 12.40 inches.
Fort Meade also has recorded 4.62 inches of precipitation in July as compared to the normal precipitation of 2.23 inches through July 7.
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