Weather this nice in early January is both the good news and the bad news.

Temperatures reaching the low 40s in Sioux Falls Monday (January 3) gave us all a nice respite from the frigid weather that ushered in 2022 over the weekend.

And even though we fell short of a record high (47 degrees in 1962), the warmth was a big positive albeit with the other shoe about to drop meteorologically.

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A quick look ahead at this week's forecast shows wind chills dropping to 20 below zero in less than 48 hours with air temperatures checking in at -6 degrees by Thursday morning.

That 50 to 60-degree swing is a perfect example of just how extreme the weather can be in the Mount Rushmore State.

And historically we're one of the worst in the nation.

Stacker has tracked all of the weather extremes from across America, and South Dakota is among the ten states with the biggest variances.

The hottest temperature on record in the history of South Dakota came just 15 years ago when the mercury hit 120 degrees in Fort Pierre on July 15, 2006.

To find the coldest day in state history, you have to travel back to the days of the Great Depression, when the temperature dropped to -58 degrees in McIntosh on February 17, 1936.

That's a swing of 178 degrees from warmest to coolest.

But as incredible as that difference in temperatures is, five other states have seen bigger extremes over the years:

  • Montana - 187 degrees (117 to -70)
  • North Dakota - 181 degrees (121 to -60)
  • Wyoming - 181 degrees (115 to -66)
  • Alaska - 180 degrees (160 to -80)
  • California - 179 degrees (134 to -45)
  • South Dakota - 178 degrees (120 to -58)
  • Idaho - 178 degrees (118 to -60)
  • Colorado - 176 degrees (115 to -61)
  • Minnesota - 175 degrees (115 to -60)
  • Nevada - 175 degrees (125 to -50)


LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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