Beat the heat: Dickinson temps top 98 degrees Wednesday
Water hose lines strung out. Children running through sprinklers and jumping into store-bought pools. Residents rushing to the market to stock up on cold treats.
It's all part of the effort to beat the heat in Dickinson, but the hot temperatures may be here to stay, at least for a while, according to the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
"I don't know if we are beating it," Dickinson resident Becky Young said Wednesday. "As long as we stay in the shade, it's not so bad."
Areas in western North Dakota climbed toward the 100 degree mark Wednesday.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation reported 101 southwest of Bowman. Dickinson hit 98.
Dickinson's normal high for July 11 is 83, but it hit a record of 110 in 1936. It hit an all-time high of 114 on July 6 the same year.
"We're really in a summertime pattern," NWS lead forecaster Bill Abeling said, adding temperatures are higher than normal.
A heat wave has settled across the southwest and central U.S., he added. A high pressure system has created ideal conditions for hot weather.
The NWS is forecasting 90s in southwest North Dakota until Sunday when thunderstorms could enter the area and drop temperatures into the 80s, where they should linger into Wednesday, Abeling said.
In the meantime, residents will have to find ways to keep their bodies from overheating.
"My kids said they wanted something frozen," Young said. "They are inside eating ice."
Kylie Simnioniw of Dickinson said Popsicles are helping keep her children cool, but an air conditioner helps.
"We're just staying inside and playing in water," she said.
Shanna Toews' sons, Alex and Jared, all of Dickinson, also used water to cool down. They pulled out the slip and slide, sprinklers and water guns for fights.
"They like to get wet, that's for sure," she said.
"Sometimes I like to put up the sprinklers," Alex said. "All our sprinklers are really cold."
Others packed up their coolers, swim trunks and boats and headed out to the Patterson Lake Recreational Area.
"My friend and I were just throwing the Frisbee around and we jumped in because it was the only way to cool down," Damon Fichter of Dickinson said.
"The heat is ridiculous" compared to other years, Tiffany Simons of Long Beach, Wash., said, but it could be worse.
"It's not what we are used to seeing, but a lot of places in the country had to cancel their Fourth of July because of the heat," she said. "(Wisconsin) is topping 106."
Simons did give some advice to survive the heat wave in North Dakota.
"The best thing for anyone to do is get a lot of water and a lot of lake," she said. "If you buy a home, make sure you have central air."
Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for Dickinson, as well as for areas of Dunn and McKenzie counties Wednesday evening as a few storm cells traveled southeast across southwest North Dakota.
As of press time, the storms failed to produce much, if any, precipitation in Dickinson. However, preliminary weather reports stated that golf ball-sized hail fell near Killdeer. Hail was also reported between New England and Regent. State Sen. George Nodland, R-Dickinson, reported 2-inch hail north of Dickinson.