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Southwest North Dakota yet to hit 100 degrees, summer still considered hot

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news Dickinson, 58602
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Thermometers around southwest North Dakota haven't hit triple digits this year, one National Weather Service official said, but that certainly doesn't mean it isn't hot.

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NWS Science and Operations Officer Joshua Scheck said that none of the official reporting sites crested the 100 degree mark this summer.

He said that sites on average reach triple digits two or three times per year, depending on the site, but the region really has its ups and downs.

"The climate is defined as being somewhat extreme," he said with a chuckle. "We might have one year that hits it 10 or 12 times and then periods of four or five years not reaching 100."

Even though the mercury may not be rocketing, many may be feeling "hotter" than ever because the increased moisture raised the heat index, Scheck said.

"We saw higher humidity during the hot spell than we have in many, many years, maybe even ever," he said.

The dew point and temperature are used to calculate how hot the weather feels, or the "heat index," Scheck said.

The NWS does not log the heat index, but it seemed quite extraordinary, Scheck said.

"Watching the event unfold, parts of the state saw heat index approaching 120," he said.

Killdeer resident Ferne Combs said in 91 years she hasn't seen weather like this.

"I can't remember a summer with as much humidity as this," she said.

Combs said the moisture can make it difficult to breath some times, but she said it makes for some nice scenery.

"It is almost the middle of August and the grasslands are still green, that is very unusual," she said.

High heat can lead to health problems, but Joelle Fischer, a nurse at West River Health Services Bowman clinic said she has not seen an increase in heat related problems. She said she suspects that people are more aware of the risks in being out in the heat.

Scheck said the forecast for the remainder of August is below normal temperatures, but high temperatures are still possible.

"There is still a chance, we are in August, and August can see triple digits, and has in the past," he said.­­

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