The state of South Dakota has long, cold winters and warm, pleasant summers.  When looking for the city with the best weather, it is important to take into consideration the average temperatures, snowfall, and inclement weather.   

The city with the best weather in South Dakota is Rapid City.  Rapid City has average annual temperatures of around 45.6 °F, which is above the state’s average.  Also, Rapid City has 3% fewer days of snow and 50% fewer days of rain when compared to other cities in South Dakota.

Rapid City’s weather has similarities to other cities in South Dakota.  However, there are a few main differences that make Rapid City rank above the other cities.  Additional information on why it has the best weather can be found below.

Rapid City Has Best Weather in South Dakota

Rapid City has the best weather in South Dakota because it has warmer annual temperatures than other locations.  During the warmest months (July and August) the weather can range from a high of 84.7°F to a low of 63.3°F.   In the coldest months (January and February) you will see average temperatures ranging from a high of 32.7°F to a low of 17.8°F. 

As a result of its warmer annual temperatures than other cities in the state, there will be less snowfall and snow accumulation throughout the year.  This is very important when looking at the city with the best weather in South Dakota because of the long cold winters and occasional blizzards.

On average, Rapid City will have 50 days of snow per year (days of snow are calculated when they have 1 inch of snow or more).   The months with the most snowfall are November – April.   The month with the highest snowfall is April, where there is about 4.25 inches of snowfall.  

While the winters can be long in the state, Rapid City does have a lot of sunny days throughout the winter months.  It can have more days of sunshine in the winter than in the summer months.  In January, there are an average of 18.3 days of sunshine, and in July, there are around 13.8 days of sunshine.  This is great news if you like winter sports and activities.

Summer Weather in Rapid City

The summer in Rapid City is very pleasant, with temperatures that are not extremely hot or cold.  There is also less humidity during this time of the year, making it very pleasant to be outdoors. 

Typically, the summertime is the best time to travel to Rapid City because of the warmer temperatures.  Also, during the summer months, you will be able to enjoy longer daylight hours and less rainfall.  The months of July and August are the best months to travel because there has historically not been any surprise snowstorms, so you can feel more comfortable in only having to pack for one season. 

Types of Inclement Weather in Rapid City 

Rapid City can have severe weather.  Usually, the severe weather that happens in Rapid City is either a blizzard or, in some instances, tornadoes.  However, compared to the rest of the state, these types of inclement weather are a lot lower in Rapid City.

On average, there are about 17 blizzards throughout the year in Rapid City.  This is about 60% lower than the average for the rest of the state.   This is another reason that the weather in Rapid City is better than in other cities because getting stuck in a blizzard can be extremely dangerous.  

The other dangerous weather extreme that needs to be considered in South Dakota based on their ranking nationally is tornadoes.  On average, South Dakota ranks 114.73 on the index (the average for the U.S. is 136.45).  However, Rapid City only ranks 68.47 on the tornado index.  This means that while they do have tornadoes, the likelihood of tornadoes happening in Rapid City is a lot less than in other areas of South Dakota and the United States. 

The important thing to remember is that when dealing with inclement weather, it is important always to sign up to receive local alerts, know what to look for in your area, and create a plan.


The city with the best weather in South Dakota is Rapid City.  Rapid City has the best weather because of the higher annual average temperatures, lower amounts of annual snowfall, and lower occurrences of severe weather.  

Summers are the best time of the year in Rapid City, where the temperature highs are in the low 80s.  Also, during the summer months, you can enjoy the weather with the longer daylight hours.

However, the winter months in Rapid City can also be pleasant if you like the outdoors because there are more sunshine days than other months.   This is perfect if you like winter sports because having sunshine can make a huge difference in making the temperature feel warmer.