2012 Weather in review: "It was a scorcher" - KOTA Territory News

2012 Weather in review: "It was a scorcher"


2012 was a year of weather extremes in KOTA Territory, and KOTA Territory News has been on the front lines all year bringing you the details.

Now, we look back at the year's biggest weather stories.

It's no secret: 2012 was hot and dry. We broke records in just about every season.
"Not many times you can golf in the middle of February, I have never golfed in February before," said Bill Bacon who was out golfing in February.
And in March, which is usually South Dakota's snowiest month of the year, there was zero snowfall.

The warm temperatures and lack of moisture throughout the winter set the stage for what would be one of the busiest fire seasons to date.
"Until the snow hits the ground we're going to be on our toes ready for a fire," said Jay Esperance of Wildland Fire back in March.
And he was right, the fire season started early and included fires in the hills, prairies and even right here in Rapid City on M Hill.

Some of the year's largest fires: The White Draw Fire near Edgemont, The Myrtle Fire in Pringle, and The Dakota Point Fire near Sheridan Lake.

"The fire behavior really got intense," said Jim Strain with Wildland Fire back in June.
"We've dealt with high temps, high winds, decreased precipitation," said Adele Harty with SDSU Extention in Rapid City back in June.
"I need rain, as much as I can get," said Matt Spring Incident Commander of the Myrtle Fire back in July.

And fire wasn't the only weather related catastrophe this year.

People on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation endured two monstrous storms, both causing extensive damage within weeks of each other.
"It was wild it was pretty scary.We was in the house cooking supper, and we seen the storm coming, and it was too late to leave the house, and it hit, and knocked windows out," said Leroy Pourier back in August.
"We seen it coming from Nebraska ad thought it was just a rain cloud coming. It was like someone just poof, blew us away," said Maka Moves Camp back in July.
Two tornadoes were confirmed this year, this damage was caused by a strong EF2.

Local infrastructure as well as barns and out buildings north of Ardmore in southern Fall River County were destroyed.

And while major storms and fires didn't directly affect everyone in KOTA Territory, the sizzling temperatures certainly did.
"It's hot!" shouted Logan Brandt of Rapid City during the July heat.
"The weather is very hot and very dry. God help us, it needs to cool down a little," said Doug Saxton visiting from Michigan in July.
Gillette and Newcastle had their hottest summer on record, and for many other KOTA Territory communities, this summer will rank in the top three hottest years.

And the heat didn't stop, even though school began.
"We get water bottles and we go outside," said a student at Wilson Elementary.
"Giving us popsicles and putting on fans," said another student at the school.
And then, there was the wind, who could forget the damaging two day wind storm with gusts over 80mph in Rapid City.

Now, rounding out the year, the drought continues, and 2013 looks like it very well could bring more of the same.

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