One of the pleasures of living in this region are the distinct four seasons we enjoy.
- National Weather Service climate data for Rapid City
Springtime finds average daytime temperatures in the mid-60's. It's not uncommon for snow to fall in March or even early April but this makes for some of the country's best alpine spring skiing conditions. The snow generally doesn't last long in the foothills and plains as the days warm quickly.
April and May showers provide more than a third of the region's precipitation bringing a rainbow of wildflower color to alpine meadows. Spring-green hues from the cottonwoods, aspens and oak spend most of the warming days playing off the dark emerald of our world-famous Black Hills spruce.
Western South Dakota is well known for its nearly perfect weather during the summer. Days are warm and pleasant – perfect for taking in the sights and enjoying all the outdoor activities the region has to offer. Highs average in the low-80's in the high country and may occasionally reach 90 in the foothills and plains. Humidity levels are low, and there is usually a breeze during the day, so even the warmest days remain pleasant. On average three of every four days in the summer are sunny.
When autumn arrives the hills and plains come alive with a blaze of color. From the deep reds of sumac to the brilliant yellows and oranges of aspen it's a sight that draws tourists and artists alike to take in its majesty. Things begin to cool down after Labor Day with daytime temperatures averaging around 70. Due to ideal atmospheric conditions in this area you will see some of the west's most spectacular sunsets during our autumn evenings.
Except in the highest elevations where winter sets in, it more or less visits the foothills and plains. Daytime highs average in the upper 30's to mid-40's. Occasional intrusions of Arctic air are short-lived and are easy to escape due to the protective nature of the Black Hills. At times temperature inversions can cause the air to be 40 to 50 degrees warmer just a short distance into the hills. At other times a phenomena the Native Americans called the Chinook or "snow-eater" winds give the foothills and plains a few 50 to 60 degree days making golf possible 12 months out of the year. The highest elevations enjoy consistent snow cover - about 15-25 inches a month from November through March - to the delight of alpine and cross-country skiers, snowmobilers and snowboarders or for those who like to snuggle next to a warm fire with a good book.