The Climate of South Dakota

By | August 27, 2022

According to Abbreviation Finder, South Dakota (SD) is an American state in the Great Plains, a vast flat area of ​​prairies, steppes and grasslands east of the Rocky Mountains. South Dakota is divided into two parts by the Missouri River, which flows through the state from north to south. Local people often refer to it as “East River” and “West River” to indicate where a place is located. South Dakota is home to seven Native American reservations, making South Dakota number three in America after Alaska and New Mexico. A notable landmark in South Dakota that pretty much everyone knows is Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The busts of four important presidents of the United States, carved into the mountains, are among the most famous landmarks in the United States.

The climate of South Dakota

South Dakota has two climates, where the amount of precipitation determines which climate type is applicable. In general, the eastern part of South Dakota has a predominantly temperate continental climate and the western part of South Dakota has a cold steppe climate (type BSk according to the Köppen climate classification). This is due to the lower average precipitation sum on an annual basis.

Winters in South Dakota are mostly cold, with extreme cold at times in the event of a very cool northerly current from the Arctic. A relatively short spring is followed by a warm summer, during which the mercury is around tropical values ​​during the day for three months. At night it can still cool down quite a bit. Especially in June, the difference in temperature within 24 hours can easily amount to twenty degrees. A variety of extraordinary weather events can occur in South Dakota, including very strong winds, severe thunderstorms, blizzards, ice showers, and tornadoes. South Dakota is located in the area where these sometimes disastrous vortices regularly occur, the so-called Tornado Alley.

Climate figures

The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

maximum temperature minimum temperature hours of sunshine per day days of rainfall per month
January -3℃ -15℃ 6 6
February 0℃ -11℃ 6 6
March 6℃ -5℃ 7 8
April 15℃ 1℃ 8 9
May 22℃ 7℃ 10 11
June 28℃ 13℃ 11 10
July 32℃ 17℃ 12 9
August 31℃ 15℃ 11 8
September 25℃ 9℃ 9 7
October 17℃ 3℃ 7 5
November 7℃ -5℃ 5 6
December -1℃ -12℃ 5 6

The climate of Aberdeen

According to Countryaah, Aberdeen is a small city in northeastern South Dakota, in Brown County. Aberdeen is located in the James River Valley, about 11 miles from the river. The area around the city was originally inhabited by the Sioux Indians, until the settlers founded Aberdeen here in the second half of the 19th century. In the early years, Aberdeen was a true rail town and three companies operated on this town. Today there is mainly small industry and the city has its own hospital. In 2007 there was a flood that destroyed about 100 houses.

Aberdeen has a warm continental climate, which is characterized by a long cold winter period and a short but warm summer period. The winters here are long and very cold. During the coldest winter months, the mercury does not rise above freezing. Most precipitation falls during the summer. As a result, the average humidity is somewhat higher during these months. Aberdeen is located in Tornado Alley, an area prone to tornadoes.

The climate of Huron

Huron is a small city in the eastern central part of the state of South Dakota, located in Beadle County. Huron was founded at the end of the 19th century and has become a prosperous town with the arrival of the railway. The city has its own airport, Huron Regional Airport. North of the city is a large golf course. In the center you will find the South Dakota State Fairgrounds.

Huron has a warm continental climate, with a long cold winter period, which lasts from October to March. During these months, the average temperature is well below freezing. The nights in particular can be bitterly cold. The summer months are pleasantly warm to hot. The mercury can then rise to 35 degrees Celsius and in extreme cases even higher. Huron is located in Tornado Alley.

The climate of Pierre

The city of Pierre, with a population of less than fifteen thousand inhabitants, is the capital of South Dakota, a state in the northern part of the central US. Pierre is located on the east bank of the Missouri River, opposite the smaller Fort Pierre. Pierre is mainly a small provincial town, where there are few buildings of any importance except the South Dakota State Capitol. Tourists visiting Pierre do so mainly for the excellent fishing opportunities on nearby Lake Oahe.

Pierre has a warm continental climate (type Dfa), the criteria for this climate type are met by the warm summer months of July and August, in which the average 24-hour temperature is well above the limit of 22 degrees. During the day it can easily reach 30 to 35 degrees in the summer. During a heat wave, the mercury can rise to 40 degrees. Pierre has a four-season climate, with winters being cold to sometimes very cold. The long, dry and cold winters have an average of 22 nights during which the mercury dips below minus twenty degrees Celsius. Snowfall is generally limited to small amounts within 24 hours. The number of days with snowfall of at least 5 to 10 centimeters is on average limited to a few days per winter season.

The climate of Rapid City

Rapid City is a large city in the southeastern US state of South Dakota. Rapid City is located in Pennington County, on the eastern slopes of The Black Hills. The city is named after the Rapid Creek, around which the city is built. The city was founded at the end of the 19th century, and when gold was discovered here, the population grew rapidly. Rapid City was hit by a severe flood in 1972. There was so much rainfall in the city and the surrounding hills that Rapid Creek overflowed. This has killed more than 200 people. Rapid City is the largest city near the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. This national monument symbolizes the first century and a half of the United States of America. The busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were carved here. The busts are each about 18 meters high.

Rapid City has a warm continental climate, which is characterized by a long, cold winter period and a short, warm to hot summer period. Most precipitation falls here during the summer months. As a result, the average humidity is slightly higher than in the rest of the year. Rapid City is located in Tornado Alley. So tornadoes can occur here during tornado season.

The climate of Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls is a large city in southeastern South Dakota, on the Big Sioux River. The Big Sioux is a tributary of the Missouri, which forms the border with the states of Minnesota and Iowa. The city originated in the mid-19th century and became large with the arrival of the railway. Because you don’t have to pay corporate taxes here, there are many financial institutions that have established themselves in Sioux Falls. The Washington Pavilion of Arts and Science is located in Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls has a warm continental climate, with icy cold winter months and a short but warm summer. Most precipitation falls during the summer months. Winters are cold and especially in the evenings and nights the mercury can drop well below freezing. During the hottest summer days, the mercury can rise well above 30 degrees Celsius.

Sioux Falls South Dakota