The first month of 2019 in theory was about as close to normal as you can get when you add all the numbers together and make an average. In practice there were wild temperature swings that made it quite memorable.

Starting the month was a mild stretch when high temperatures frequently topped the freezing mark with the top temperature during the month being 45 degrees recorded twice on January 5 and January 7. Thirteen of the first fifteen days were above average for both highs and lows.

After January 15, only four days had above average high temperatures with two of those days linked by a quirk of timing. Late in the evening on January 27, a surge of warm air enveloped Sioux Falls that caused temperatures to rise by about 15 degrees from 6:00 PM until midnight. The curious part was when the temperature was recorded at midnight, the temperature was 37 degrees. Meaning the high for both January 27 and January 28 was the same reading. An arctic blast followed and one hour later the temperature at Joe Foss Field was 19 degrees. At its bottom, -25 was the low temperature on January 30 which was almost a record. Fortunately the -27 degree record set in 1899 remains the standard.

With all those extremes, it serves as a macabre coincidence that if you took all the highs and lows for the month of January 2019 and averaged them and compared the number to a normal January, you have to go to the second decimal point to find a distinction.

Normal Sioux Falls January temperature: 16.75
2019 Sioux Falls January temperature: 16.70

Precipitation also qualifies as normal starting with an average January total and the 2019 monthly result being exactly the same at .56 inches. Normal snowfall in a Sioux Falls January is 7.7 inches with the 2019 total stacking up to 8.1 inches.

That's pretty tight to the average. Similar to having one foot in a bucket of ice and the other on some hot coals.

These statistics used were compiled by the National Weather Service through the month of January for Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


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