South Dakota Annual Temperatures and Extremes


Avg High Temp

Avg Low Temp 

Avg Annual Temp

Avg # days > 90F Avg # days < 32F  Record High Temp Record Low Temp
Aberdeen 55.4 31.7 43.5 26 179 115 / 1936 -45 / 1994
Huron 57.0 33.5 45.3 29 171 112 / 1966 -41 / 1994
Rapid City 59.8 34.1 46.9 32 170 111 / 2006 -31 / 1996
Sioux Falls 56.8 34.5 45.7 23 167 110 / 1988 -36 / 1970
  • South Dakota annual average temperature - 45.14 degrees, 39th warmest state in the U.S.
  • Record Hottest year in South Dakota - 2012 / Avg temperature 49.22 degrees
  • Record Coldest year in South Dakota - 1951 / Avg temperature 41.19 degrees
  • South Dakota average Summer temperature (June, July, August) 69.9 F degrees, 29th warmest U.S. summer state
  • South Dakota average Winter temperature (December, January, February) 46.1 F degrees, 42nd coldest U.S. winter state

South Dakota's Temperature Records

  • Hottest temperature ever recorded: 120 F, Usta, northwestern South Dakota, 7/15/2006
  • Coldest temperature ever recorded: -58 F, McIntosh, northern South Dakota, 2/17/1936
  • Hottest location ranked by highest average annual temperature: Interior, southwestern South Dakota, 50.4 F
  • Coldest location ranked by lowest average annual temperature: Deerfield, southwestern South Dakota, 36.4 F
  • The hottest and coldest cities in South Dakota - Interior and Deerfield - are located only 131 miles apart. The
    large difference in average annual temperature between the cities is due to the high elevation of Deerfield at 5,600 feet,
    compared to Interior at 2,300 feet.

Since South Dakota is situated in the heart of the North American Continent, it is near the paths of many cyclones and anticyclones, and has the extreme of summer heat and winter cold that are characteristic of continental climates. The highest temperature of record in South Dakota is 120 degrees Fahrenheit ( F) observed July 15, 2006, at Usta; the lowest, -58 F, February 17, 1936, at McIntosh. Rapid fluctuations in temperature are common. Partly because of the great distance from any large body of water, the ranges of daily, monthly and annual temperatures are very large. Temperatures of 100 F or higher, are experienced in some part of the State each year, and on rare occasions such readings have been noted as early as April and as late as October. These high temperatures are usually accompanied by low humidity, which greatly reduces the oppressiveness of the heat. Subzero temperatures occur frequently on mid-winter mornings, but it is not often that the temperature stays subzero during the entire day. In the north, subzero temperatures can occur between October and April.

Warm, "Chinook" winds and frequent sunny skies make the Black Hills area the warmest part of the State in the winter. Also, because of the tendency for very cold air to stay at low elevations, some of the arctic air outbreaks that blanket the eastern counties do not reach the higher counties in the west. During the summer, the higher elevation of the Black Hills results in that section having cooler temperatures than the rest of the State. At this season, the central and southeastern counties are warmest. The freeze-free season is shortest high in the Black Hills where brief freezing has been known to occur at any time of the summer. Elsewhere, the first autumn freeze generally occurs in mid-September in the northwest, in late September in the in the central and east, and the first week in October in the southeast corner. The average last freeze in the spring ranges from early May in the southeast to late May in the northwest.


South Dakota precipitation averages and extremes, U.S. Top 10 climate extremes, precipitation data for all U.S. states
Data source: National Climatic Data Center