The best times to visit South Dakota for ideal weather are

May 14th to September 30th

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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Weather in South Dakota

Temperature

Average temperatures in South Dakota vary an incredible amount. Considering humidity, temperatures feel cold for about half of the year and otherwise nice with a very low chance of rain or snow throughout the year. The area is somewhat temperate — in the 44th percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. 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)

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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 31.4 20.1 10.5
Feb 32.5 20.7 11.2
Mar 48.8 35.3 25
Apr 59.3 45.6 34.3
May 70.3 56.8 45.4
Jun 79.6 66.9 55.5
Jul 87 73.5 61.2
Aug 84.9 71 59
Sep 78.3 63 50.4
Oct 62.1 48.7 38.2
Nov 48.2 35.3 25
Dec 32.1 21.7 12.7

Show Celsius

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan -0.3 -6.6 -11.9
Feb 0.3 -6.3 -11.6
Mar 9.3 1.8 -3.9
Apr 15.2 7.6 1.3
May 21.3 13.8 7.4
Jun 26.4 19.4 13.1
Jul 30.6 23.1 16.2
Aug 29.4 21.7 15
Sep 25.7 17.2 10.2
Oct 16.7 9.3 3.4
Nov 9 1.8 -3.9
Dec 0.1 -5.7 -10.7


 

Precipitation (Rain or Snow)

If dry weather is what you’re after, the months with the lowest chance of significant precipitation in South Dakota are November, January, and then February. Note that we define “significant precipitation” as .1 inches or more in this section. The lowest chance of rain or snow occurs around mid January. For example, on the week of January 15th there are no days of precipitation on average. By contrast, it’s most likely to rain or snow in early to mid June with an average of 2 days of significant precipitation the week of June 11th.

When can you find snow in South Dakota? Weather stations report large amounts of snow likely to be deepest around March, especially close to late February and early March. The best time to ski (if at all) in South Dakota is often around around April 9th when fresh powder is deepest. 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.

Chanceof 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 4% 4.4 0.4
Feb 6% 5.2 0.6
Mar 7% 5.3 0.8
Apr 15% 4.1 1.7
May 19% 0 2.9
Jun 22% 0 3.5
Jul 13% 0 2.2
Aug 14% 0 2.3
Sep 10% 0 1.4
Oct 11% 1.7 1.9
Nov 4% 3.2 0.4
Dec 6% 3.6 0.7

Show Centimeters

Month Daily Chance of Rain Average Snow Depth (cm) Total Precipitation (cm)
Jan 4 11.2 1
Feb 6 13.2 1.5
Mar 7 13.5 2
Apr 15 10.4 4.3
May 19 0 7.4
Jun 22 0 8.9
Jul 13 0 5.6
Aug 14 0 5.8
Sep 10 0 3.6
Oct 11 4.3 4.8
Nov 4 8.1 1
Dec 6 9.1 1.8

 

Humidity and Wind

South Dakota has some high humidity months, with other comfortably humid months. 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 moderate. 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 “a 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. 1 knot = 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KPH.

Month Avg. Wind Avg. Wind Feel Sustained High Wind High Wind Feel
Jan 9.7 Gentle breeze 18 Strong breeze
Feb 9.2 Gentle breeze 16.9 Significant breeze
Mar 9.7 Gentle breeze 17.8 Strong breeze
Apr 10.4 Gentle breeze 18.8 Strong breeze
May 9.8 Gentle breeze 18.4 Strong breeze
Jun 8.4 Gentle breeze 17 Strong breeze
Jul 7.6 Gentle breeze 15.5 Strong breeze
Aug 7.4 Gentle breeze 15.1 Significant breeze
Sep 8.2 Gentle breeze 15.8 Strong breeze
Oct 9.2 Gentle breeze 16.9 Significant breeze
Nov 9.1 Gentle breeze 16.9 Strong breeze
Dec 8.8 Gentle breeze 16.2 Significant 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?

Our best data indicates this area is generally safe. As of Jan 19, 2018 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


 

The Busiest and Least Crowded Months

The busiest month for tourism in South Dakota, United States is July, followed by August and February. Prices for hotels and flights will be most expensive during these months, though you can save if you purchase well in advance. Tourists are unlikely to visit South Dakota in November. Those willing to visit at these times will likely find it the least expensive month.

Estimated Tourism by Month

 

Most Popular Months to Visit

Key
Tourists Seeking Accommodations

Tourism graph is based on Google searches for services used by tourists relative to the rest of the year. Tourism data for this area is extrapolated based on nearby areas. Displayed data is calculated relative to the peak, so a score of 42.4 in November means 42.4% of the tourists vs. July.


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 far warmer temperatures in the later months. Rain is somewhat common with 2 to 6 days of significant precipitation per month. Spring is fairly slow 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 the most precipitation with 4 to 7 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the busiest season for tourism in South Dakota, so lodging and other accommodations may cost more than 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 normal amount: 1 to 4 days per month. Tourism is the slowest during these months due to the weather, so hotels may be affordably 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 smalll amount: 1 to 2 times per month. These times of year are the second busiest with tourists.

 

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