The best times to visit South Dakota for ideal weather are

May 21st to June 24th

or

September 3rd to September 23rd

based on average temperature and humidity from NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Read below for more weather and travel details.

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South Dakota Travel Guide

  • Safety
  • The busiest and least popular months
  • Overall travel experience by time of year
  • Weather in South Dakota

    Temperature

    Average temperatures in South Dakota vary greatly and are seasonally temperate. The area is in the top 85 percent of tourist destinations for pleasant weather. Weeks with ideal weather are listed above. If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit South Dakota, the hottest months are July, August, and then June. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally mid-July where highs are regularly around 88.7°F (31.5°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 62.6°F (17°C) at night.

    South Dakota Temperatures (Fahrenheit)

    Key
    High
    Average
    Low

    South Dakota Temperatures (Celsius)

    Key
    High
    Average
    Low

    “Feels-Like” Temperatures

    The way we experience weather isn’t all about temperature. Higher temperatures affect us much more at higher humidity, and colder temperatures feel piercing with high winds. Our perceived temperatures factor in humidity and wind chill to better represent how hot or cold the day feels to a person.

    South Dakota Perceived Temperature (F)

    Key
    High
    Average
    Low

    South Dakota Perceived Temperature (C)

    Key
    High
    Average
    Low

     

    Average South Dakota Temperatures by Month

    Daily highs (averaged for the month) usually give the best indication of the weather. A significantly lower mean and low generally just means it gets colder at night.

    Show Fahrenheit

    Month Avg. High (°F) Avg. Mean (°F) Avg. Low (°F)
    Jan 44.7 35 26.9
    Feb 46.7 36.8 28.5
    Mar 55.9 45.2 36.1
    Apr 64.5 53.6 44.1
    May 72.9 62.3 52.7
    Jun 80.6 70.2 60.7
    Jul 83.8 73.5 64.4
    Aug 83.2 72.7 63.5
    Sep 77.8 66.9 57.8
    Oct 67.4 56.8 47.9
    Nov 56.2 46.1 37.6
    Dec 47.5 38.6 31.1

    Show Celsius

    Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
    Jan 7.1 1.7 -2.8
    Feb 8.2 2.7 -1.9
    Mar 13.3 7.3 2.3
    Apr 18.1 12 6.7
    May 22.7 16.8 11.5
    Jun 27 21.2 15.9
    Jul 28.8 23.1 18
    Aug 28.4 22.6 17.5
    Sep 25.4 19.4 14.3
    Oct 19.7 13.8 8.8
    Nov 13.4 7.8 3.1
    Dec 8.6 3.7 -0.5

     

    Precipitation (Rain or Snow)

    If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of precipitation in South Dakota are June, May, and then April. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around late October to early November. For example, on the week of October 29th there are only 0.9 days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in early-to-mid-June with an average of 3.1 days with significant precipitation the week of June 11th.

    When can you find snow in South Dakota? Weather stations report a good amount of snow throughout the year likely to be deepest around March, especially close to late February and early March. Powder (new snow) is most often falls around October 1st. Please note that a value of 0 for snow in the graph below may either mean there was no snow, or that snow is unreported.

    Chance of Precipitation

    The graph below shows the % chance of rainy and snowy days in South Dakota.

    Key
    Days with precipitation

    Snow on the Ground

    The graph below shows the average snow on the ground in South Dakota (in).

    Key
    Snow depth

    Average Rain and Snow by Month

    Show Inches

    Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (in) Total Precipitation (in)
    Jan 20 1.7 0.01
    Feb 21.4 2 0.02
    Mar 21.4 2.1 0.02
    Apr 30 1.6 0.06
    May 35.7 0 0.09
    Jun 38.6 0 0.12
    Jul 25.7 0 0.07
    Aug 27.1 0 0.08
    Sep 21.4 0 0.05
    Oct 24.3 0.6 0.06
    Nov 14.3 1.3 0.01
    Dec 22.9 1.4 0.02

    Show Centimeters

    Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (cm) Total Precipitation (cm)
    Jan 20 4.3 0.03
    Feb 21.4 5.1 0.05
    Mar 21.4 5.3 0.05
    Apr 30 4.1 0.15
    May 35.7 0 0.23
    Jun 38.6 0 0.3
    Jul 25.7 0 0.18
    Aug 27.1 0 0.2
    Sep 21.4 0 0.13
    Oct 24.3 1.5 0.15
    Nov 14.3 3.3 0.03
    Dec 22.9 3.6 0.05

     

    Humidity and Wind

    South Dakota has slightly low to average humidity compared to most tourist destinations. The least humid month is April (51.6% relative humidity), and the most humid month is December (66.2%).

    Wind in South Dakota is usually stronger than usual. The windiest month is April, followed by May and January. April’s average wind speed of around 10.4 knots (12 MPH or 19.3 KPH) is considered “gentle breeze.” Maximum sustained winds (the highest speed for the day lasting more than a few moments) are at their highest in early May where average top sustained speeds reach 19.5 knots, which is considered a fresh breeze.

    Relative Humidity (%)

    The graph below shows the average % humidity by month in South Dakota.

    Key
    Avg. Relative Humidity

    Wind

    The graph below shows wind speed (max and average) in knots.

    Key
    Max Sustained Wind
    Average Daily Wind

    Average Wind Speeds

    Show Wind Speeds

    All wind speeds are in knots.

    Month Avg. Wind Meaning (Beaufort) Avg. Maximum Sustained Wind Meaning (Beufort)
    Jan 9.7 a gentle breeze 18 a fresh breeze
    Feb 9.2 a gentle breeze 16.9 a moderate breeze
    Mar 9.7 a gentle breeze 17.8 a fresh breeze
    Apr 10.4 a gentle breeze 18.8 a fresh breeze
    May 9.8 a gentle breeze 18.4 a fresh breeze
    Jun 8.4 a gentle breeze 17 a fresh breeze
    Jul 7.6 a gentle breeze 15.5 a fresh breeze
    Aug 7.4 a gentle breeze 15.1 a moderate breeze
    Sep 8.2 a gentle breeze 15.8 a fresh breeze
    Oct 9.2 a gentle breeze 16.9 a moderate breeze
    Nov 9.1 a gentle breeze 16.9 a fresh breeze
    Dec 8.8 a gentle breeze 16.2 a moderate breeze

    Show Relative Humidity by Month

    Month Avg. Relative Humidity
    Jan 61.9
    Feb 63.4
    Mar 58.1
    Apr 51.6
    May 54
    Jun 58.1
    Jul 54.9
    Aug 57.5
    Sep 51.9
    Oct 54.4
    Nov 55.6
    Dec 66.2

     

    Is it Safe to Travel to South Dakota?

    As of 6/22/2017 there are no travel advisories or warnings for the United States; exercise normal security precautions. Check this page for any recent changes or regions to avoid: Travel Advice and Advisories.
     

    Overall South Dakota Travel Experience by Season

    Spring (March through May)

    Humidity and temperatures combine to make this season feel moderately cold. Highs range from 75.3°F (24.1°C) and 32.3°F (0.2°C) with warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 7 to 11 days of precipitation per month. Spring is slow/unreported for tourism, which makes it a good time for those looking for deals.

    Summer (June through August)

    The middle-year months have very comfortable weather with high temperatures that are quite warm. These months see moderate precipitation with 8 to 12 days of precipitation per month. June – August is slow/unreported season for tourism in South Dakota, so lodging and other accommodations may cost as much as usual.

    Fall (September through November)

    Fall daily highs range from 80.6°F (27°C) and 40.5°F (4.7°C), which will feel chilly given the humidity and wind. It rains or snows a fair amount: 4 to 8 days per month. Tourism is slow/unreported during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be normally priced.

    Winter (December through February)

    Weather is far too cold this time of year in South Dakota to be enjoyable for warm weather travelers. The average high during this season is between 35.6°F (2°C) and 29.4°F (-1.4°C). On average, it rains or snows a noticeable amount: 6 to 7 times per month. These times of year are slow/unreported with tourists.

     

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