2005 Annual Climate Summary

Temperatures were above normal and precipitation was generally near normal in northeastern Wyoming and western South Dakota.

The average temperature in Rapid City was 50.1 degrees, making 2005 the 15th warmest year on record and the warmest year since 1988.  The first day the temperature reached 100 degrees was May 22; eleven days recorded high temperatures of 100 degrees or higher.  Rapid City’s highest temperature of the year was 109 degrees—only one degree cooler than the all-time record high.  The first widespread frost of the fall occurred September 13.

Temperature Extremes

Station

High

Date(s)

Low

Date

Buffalo *

108

July 9

-22

January 14

Cottonwood

109

July 9

July 16

-24

January 16

Deadwood

102

July 16

-14

December 7

Faith

104

July 16

-23

January 15

Gillette

101

July 16

-22 *

December 7

Interior

107

July 16

-22

January 6

Pine Ridge *

105

July 23

-22

January 5

Phillip *

107

July 16

-23

December 8

Rapid City *

109

July 16

-15

January 6

Winner

108

July 23

-11

December 8

Precipitation Extremes

Station

Rainfall

Date

Snowfall

Date

Buffalo *

1.22

June 1

Not available

Cottonwood

1.82

May 12

5.0

January 6

Deadwood

2.14

May 8

8.3

October 5

Faith

1.53

May 12

8.9

April 11

Gillette

1.40

April 21

14

April 21

Interior

1.75

May 12

7

January 4

Pine Ridge *

1.41

July 23

Not available

Phillip *

2.01

May 4

Not available

Rapid City

1.22 *

May 11

7.5

May 11

Winner

2.10

June 13

14

November 28

*Data is from the automated weather station

Monthly Summary

January had two seasons.  The first half of the month was bitterly cold, with temperatures averaging 12 to 15 degrees below normal.  A storm on the 4th and 5th left six to nine inches of snow across the Black Hills and southern South Dakota.  High temperatures in the middle to upper 60s during the second half of the month helped raise monthly averages to near normal.

February, March, and the beginning of April were very warm and dry with spring snowfall well below average.  The northern Black Hills received less than 45 inches of snow, compared to an average of 70 inches. Northeastern Wyoming and the plains of western South Dakota received 15 to 25 inches of snow.  Only two snowstorms occurred during March:  South central South Dakota measured four to eight inches of snow on the 21st and 22nd while northeastern Wyoming and the northern Black Hills received four to six inches of snow on the 23rd and 24th.

A series of storm systems brought cool, moist air to the region from mid April into mid June.  Precipitation across the area ranged from five to eight inches, with eleven inches reported in the northern Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains.  Snowfall also increased during this period.  A storm left four to ten inches of snow east of a line from Lemmon to Faith, Philip, and Martin on April 11, but locations just to the west received virtually no moisture.  A larger storm April 21-22 dropped 4 to 8 inches of snow in the Black Hills and northeastern Wyoming, with as much as 15 inches of snow in Campbell County. Gillette’s 14 inches of snow was the third highest daily snowfall total. This storm also brought two to four inches of rain east of the Black Hills.  Long Valley measured 2.75 inches of rain on the 21st for its greatest single day April rainfall.  Finally, six to 12 inches of snow fell in the central and northern Black Hills, northwestern South Dakota, and northeastern Wyoming on May 11.

Temperatures were mild until late April, then cooler than normal temperatures persisted through the middle of June.

The weather pattern changed abruptly during the second half of June and continued through July, with temperatures well above normal and precipitation well below normal. The period from June 16 to July 15 was the driest on record at Rapid City.  Cottonwood recorded its third warmest summer, while Spearfish had its fourth warmest summer.

August was a cool, wet month. Heavy rain caused flash flooding in Hot Springs, SD. Streets near downtown Hot Springs were covered with a foot of water and the Fall River through town was near bankfull.

The fall was mild with below normal precipitation. Average temperatures were 2 to 4 degrees above normal from September through November, with Spearfish averaging 7.2 degrees above normal in November.

Two storms brought heavy snow to the region during the fall.  The October 4-5 storm over northeastern Wyoming and northwestern South Dakota set several records for October daily snowfall, including 12 inches at Camp Crook and 8 at Redig.  A powerful blizzard brought a foot of snow with 60 mph winds to south central South Dakota the Monday after Thanksgiving (November 28).  Winner’s 14 inches of snow set a daily snowfall record for November.  That storm also left seven to 14 inches of snow over the Bear Lodge Mountains and the northern Black Hills.

Drought Statistics

The table below shows the difference between measured and normal precipitation from 2001 through November 2005 for weather observing stations in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming.

SOUTH DAKOTA STATIONS

5 YEAR PRECIPITATION DIFFERENCE (INCHES)

Fort Meade

-27.56

Lead

-25.83

Spearfish

-24.61

Rapid City Airport

-20.21

Winner

-19.06

East Rapid City

-18.92

Dupree

-18.49

Pactola Dam

-18.44

Lemmon

-17.91

Hermosa 3SSW

-17.33

Mission 14S

-17.19

Harding 3E

-17.17

Milesville 5NE

-15.84

Dupree 15SSE

-15.80

Newell

-15.18

Cottonwood 2E

-15.15

Faith

-15.02

Hill City

-14.72

Deadwood 2NE

-13.75

Glad Valley 2W

-13.22

Elm Springs 3ESE

-12.46

Hot Springs

-12.30

Interior

-12.17

Plainview 4SSW

-10.99

Harrington

-10.96

Mount Rushmore

-10.93

Red Owl

-9.16

Oelrichs

-8.27

Camp Crook

-7.88

Bison

-7.55

Mission

-7.55

Long Valley

-7.37

Redig 11NE

-6.43

Martin

-5.80

Edgemont 

-3.30

Wood

2.66

WYOMING STATIONS

 

Gillette 6SE

-18.05

Devils Tower

-17.25

Echeta 2NW

-16.64

Wright 12W

-12.9

Hulett

-10.55

Dillinger

-7.52

Upton

-6.43

Newcastle

-4.29

LEGEND

 

RED

More than 20 inches below normal

 

ORANGE

15-20 inches below normal

 

 

LIGHT ORANGE

10-15 inches below normal

 

 

TAN

5-10 inches below normal

 

 

LIGHT YELLOW

0-5 inches below normal

 

 

GREEN

Above normal

 

 

Red station name

Missing data

Return to Climate Summaries


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.