75th Anniversary of World Record

by Visit Spearfish | January 22, 2018
Arts & History Winter Activities

People familiar with South Dakota knows its weather can be a bit unpredictable, and despite being located in South Dakota, Spearfish’s weather is usually mild – with average summer highs in the 80s and average winter highs in the 40s.

This was especially true 75 years ago, when Spearfish earned the world record for the fastest recorded temperature change.

It was a chilly morning at 7:30 a.m. in Spearfish on January 22, 1943, with the temperature sitting at -4°F. Two minutes later, however, the temperatures had skyrocketed to +45°F, a 49°-swing that made the town of Spearfish a world record holder for the fastest recorded temperature change, a title that still stands today.

The temperature continued to rise and by 9:00 a.m. it peaked at 54°F. The temperature swing was caused by a Chinook wind. After the Chinook wind died down, the temperature returned to -4°F. The 58° drop only took only 27 minutes, causing glass windows to crack and windshields to instantly frost over. 

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