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A dry One

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HARTINGTON — The Hartington area had a couple of very dry months in 2020.

The year started out very dry as January and February combined for the driest two months of the year. Combined, only .19 inches of precipitation fell here from the start of the year until March 10.

That deficit began to be wiped out in March as 5.25 inches of precipitation fell here in that month — 3.25 inches more than the average.

April was once again a dry month, as only .85 inches of precipitation fell here, far short of the 3.03 inches of rain that typically falls here in April.

Despite having nine months of below-average precipitation, though, the area was only 2.73 inches behind average this year.

Some timely rains in May, June and July helped area farmers produce a good crop.

The fall was very dry as only 3.75 inches of precipitation fell here from Aug. 30 to Dec. 31.

Typically, the area receives over seven and one half inches of rain from Sept. 1 through the end of the year.

At first, it didn’t appear the year would be a hot one, as the temperature didn’t climb into the 80s here until April 28, but once it reached that mark, it stayed there.

The thermometer climbed to 80 or above 96 times. The last time the mercury climbed above 80 was Nov. 6, when it hit 81 here.

July, as usual, was hot and steamy, but the thermometer never did hit triple digits in 2020.

The area endured quite a few hot days in 2020. The thermometer inched above 90 degrees 30 times in 2020 with the hottest day of the year being recorded on June 29, when it hit 99 degrees here.

The biggest heat wave of the summer began on June 24 when it climbed to 83 degrees here. The daily high didn’t dip back into the 70s until 39 days later on Aug. 2.

The thermometer reached 85 degrees or more for 23 of the 31 days of July.

The biggest temperature change of the year took place on April 21, when the day had a 43-degree swing, starting out at 32 degrees, before the air heated up to 75 late in the afternoon.

Old Man Winter wasn’t too severe this year. The temperature was 10 degrees or colder only 24 times in 2020.

The thermometer dipped below zero on 11 days in 2020.

A cold snap hit the region on Jan. 10, when the thermometer dipped to three degrees. For the next 12 days the high didn’t go above 30 degrees. The lows were below zero on five of those 12 days.

The lowest temperature of the year was during that span, when it dipped down to 9 degrees below zero Jan. 16. A February cold snap brought the temperature back down to nine-below on Feb. 13.

The thermometer dipped below zero for the final time for the winter of 2019-20 on Feb. 24 when it sank to minus four-degrees.

The U.S. Climate Data Center lists Hartington’s average annual precipitation at 28.15.

The most precip ever recorded in one year here was in 1915 when 41.45 inches of precipitation fell.

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