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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 23, 2013, 09:46 AM

Forecast: Warmer weekend in store for Dakotas

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — After a cold and snowy early spring, residents of the Dakotas are looking forward to warmer weather at the weekend.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — After a cold and snowy early spring, residents of the Dakotas are looking forward to warmer weather at the weekend.

Temperatures are expected to reach into the 50s and 60s in North Dakota and into the 60s and 70s in South Dakota this weekend, according to the National Weather Service. That will be a big change from a two-week stretch of storms that has broken snowfall and cold temperature records across the two states.

Another record fell Monday, when the temperature rose to only 31 degrees in Rapid City, breaking the city's previous lowest high temperature record of 34 degrees set in 2001, according to the weather service.

The city also has had its snowiest April on record, due to the nearly 10 inches that fell Sunday and Monday and pushed the monthly total in downtown Rapid City to 39.5 inches. The previous record was 38.5 inches, set in 1927. Half of this April's total came on April 9 — the city's snowiest day of all time.

"It's sure nice moisture," Quinn rancher Mary Lou Guptill told the Rapid City Journal. "It's been very dry around here."

The U.S. Drought Monitor map shows no areas of South Dakota remaining in exceptional drought, the worst category, though much of the west remains in extreme drought, the second-worst category.

Monday's snow shut down schools in western South Dakota. School cancelations in both states have been common the past two weeks, leading many school districts including Bismarck, N.D., and Sioux Falls, S.D., to decide to cut their school year short rather than make up snow days.

"It is always difficult for us to recommend giving up days of learning," Sioux Falls Superintendent Pam Homan told the Argus Leader newspaper. "We pride ourselves on exceeding the state's minimum, but we also understand parent and student challenges with . moving into the next week.

"Looking out the window, we are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be OK now until the end of the year," Homan said.

Some rain and snow is in the forecast for both states as the workweek progresses. But change is coming.

"The weekend looks gorgeous," National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Adams told the Argus Leader.

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