Believe it: Temperature went from minus 4 to 45 in 2 minutes

(John Talbot / CC BY 2.0)

Monday marks the 75th anniversary of a startling weather event that put a western South Dakota city in the record books.

In just two minutes, the temperature in Spearfish jumped from negative 4 degrees (-20 Celsius) to 45 degrees (7 Celsius) on Jan. 22, 1943.

The Rapid City Journal reports the temperature then increased to 54 degrees (12 Celsius), only to fall back down that morning to negative 4 degrees (-20 Celsius).

The weather cracked windows and instantly frosted car windows, forcing drivers to pull over.

Meteorologist Susan Sanders says a combination of especially cold air from the north and east ran into warm air from the west. Sanders says the warm air pushed the cold air away, but the cold air masses returned once the winds let up.

The extreme temperature swings received national attention, including from "Ripley's Believe it or Not."

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