2007 Annual Climate Summary

January was mild with average temperatures three to six degrees above normal.  The northern Black Hills and Bear Lodge Mountains were the only areas to receive significant snowfall.  Six to nine inches of snow fell on January 8 and again January 18.  On the plains, precipitation was 30 to 40 percent of normal. Faith and Redig 11N tied their records for least amount of snow for January; both stations measured only a trace of snow. Newell had 0.02 inches of precipitation which tied their driest January since 1992.

February temperatures went from cold to warm.  They were 12 to 16 degrees below normal during the first half of the month followed by three to six degrees above normal for the second half of the month. Low temperatures fell to 15 to 30 below zero from the 12th through the 15th; the coldest temperature was 38 degrees below zero at Hoover on February 15.  Precipitation was above normal over most of the area but ranged from 200 to 300 percent of normal over south central South Dakota and the northern Black Hills to only 25 to 30 percent across southwestern South Dakota.  Camp Crook had its snowiest February with 19.0 inches.

March was one of the warmest on record with temperatures averaging eight to eleven degrees above normal.  Sixteen stations reported the warmest March on record including the Rapid City Regional Airport at 44.3 degrees and Spearfish with a 46.1 degree average. The Rapid City Regional Airport was among the locations that also had the warmest temperature ever in March when the high reached 83 degrees on the 20th. March was mainly dry except for a storm that dropped 1.5 to 2.5 inches of precipitation from the 29th through the 31st.  As much as a foot of snow fell around Gillette and eight to 16 inches were reported in the northern Black Hills.

April saw near normal temperatures with precipitation 60 to 80 percent of normal. No significant rainfall or snow occurred.

May temperatures were three to five degrees above normal. Precipitation averaged 150 to 200 percent of normal except southwestern South Dakota which received only 50 to 70 percent of normal. The first storm May 4 through 6 left two to four inches of rain and caused some flooding. Twenty-four hour May rainfall records were set at Interior 3NE with 3.95 inches on the 5th and Maurine 10SW with 1.94 inches on the 6th. During the last week of May, another three to five inches of rain caused flooding in the northern Black Hills and northern foothills.  Gillette had its second wettest May on record with a total of 8.05 inches.

June weather was warm again with temperatures two to four degrees above normal. Precipitation was near normal, although dry conditions persisted over southwestern South Dakota where precipitation was only 20 to 30 percent of normal.  Heavy rain fell June 1 and 2, with 1.5 to two inches across northeastern Wyoming and northwestern South Dakota, while two to four inches of rain across the northern Black Hills caused small stream flooding.

July was hot and dry with temperatures five to seven degrees above normal. July was the warmest on record at Oelrichs, the Rapid City Regional Airport, and Redig 11NE.  Temperatures topped 100 degrees at most locations July 7; the hottest temperature was 111 degrees at Cottonwood.  Precipitation averaged 50 to 70 percent of normal across the region, with only Faith measuring above normal precipitation due to a storm that left 3.12 inches of rain on July 26.

August temperatures were one to four degrees above normal.  The month saw a dramatic increase in precipitation with monthly totals 150 to 200 percent of normal.  On August 17 severe thunderstorms dropped large hail and heavy rain along the eastern foothills. Four to six inches of rain caused flash flooding in Hermosa while softball sized hail caused significant damage in Piedmont.  Mission 14S and Winner both had their wettest August with totals of 8.54 and 6.88 inches of rain respectively.

September continued the trend of warm temperatures with averages three to four degrees above normal. The first frost and freeze occurred on the 10th. Precipitation was 55 to 65 percent of normal.

October temperatures were two to four degrees above normal. Rainfall varied across the region, with southern South Dakota receiving 150 to 300 percent above normal while the rest of the area had 50 to 70 percent of normal.  A storm system brought one to three inches of rain to southwestern and south central South Dakota from the 13th through the 16th while another storm dropped one to two inches of rain from the 18th through the 21st. Only the Black Hills and northeastern Wyoming reported measurable snowfall; totals were generally two to five inches.

November was warm and exceptionally dry. Temperatures averaged three to five degrees above normal. Precipitation was only 15 to 30 percent of normal. Ten locations reported no rainfall for the entire month and several locations had the driest November on record.

December.  Cooler temperatures moved into the area as winter started.  Temperatures averaged one to three degrees below normal. Precipitation averaged 150 to 200 percent of normal. The month’s biggest snowfall left eight to 15 inches of snow in the northern Black Hills on December 21.

Yearly Precipitation
Precipitation amounts ranged from 33.52 inches at Deadwood and 32.20 inches at Lead to 10.39 inches at 12W Hereford and 11.00 inches at Oglala (the latter two stations’ totals through the end of November). Departures from normal varied from a 9.24 inch surplus at 14S Mission to a 5.7 inch deficit at Mount Rushmore.
The station at 14S Mission had its third wettest year with 28.14 inches of precipitation. Winner measured 32.01 inches of precipitation for its fifth highest annual total. Gillette received 20.59 inches of precipitation, which was the eighth wettest year on record.
Rapid City Data
The average temperature was 49.5 degrees, the fourth warmest year on record. The earliest 100 degree temperature was June 23 and the latest was August 13. Fourteen days reached 100 degrees. Rapid City’s highest temperature of the year was 109 degrees on July 7. The lowest temperature of the year was -21 degrees on February 15.  The first frost of the fall occurred September 10.
Precipitation for the year was 12.61 inches, which was 4.03 inches below normal.

Temperature Extremes 

Station

High

Date(s)

Low

Date

Buffalo *

106

July 23

-21

February 15

Cottonwood

111

July 8,  August 14

-33

February 15

Deadwood

98

August 13

-12

February 14, 15

Faith

107

July 7

-21

February 15

Gillette

101

July 22

-17

February 2, 15

Interior

108

June 26, July 25, 26

-22

February 15

Pine Ridge *

108

June 25

-32

February 15

Phillip *

110

August 13

-28

February 15

Rapid City Airport*

109

July 7

-21

February 15

Winner

105

August 14

-18

February 15


Precipitation Extremes

Station

Rainfall

Date

Snowfall

Date

Buffalo *

1.10

July 18

Not available

Cottonwood

1.67

May 6

5.1

February 13

Deadwood

3.26

June 1

9.6

March 29

Faith

3.12

July 26

5.0

February 12

Gillette

2.00

May 6

6.5

March 29

Interior

3.95

May 5

6.0

February 12

Pine Ridge *

1.02

July 25

Not available

Phillip *

1.52

May 5

Not available

Rapid City

1.61

May 5

4.5

February 12

Winner

1.68

May 5

10.0

February 24

* Data is from the automated weather station


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