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Average Weather in January in Bison South Dakota, United States

Daily high temperatures increase by 3°F, from 28°F to 31°F, rarely falling below 6°F or exceeding 48°F. The lowest daily average high temperature is 28°F on January 2.

Daily low temperatures increase by 2°F, from 11°F to 13°F, rarely falling below -10°F or exceeding 30°F. The lowest daily average low temperature is 11°F on January 2.

For reference, on July 23, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Bison typically range from 60°F to 86°F, while on January 2, the coldest day of the year, they range from 11°F to 28°F.

Average High and Low Temperature in January

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the hourly average temperatures for the quarter of the year centered on January. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature in January

Average Hourly Temperature in January in Bison18152229112233445566778899101011111212131314141515161617171818191920202121222223232424252526262727282829293030313112 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMDecFebfrigidfreezingvery cold
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands. The shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Zarr, Armenia (6,179 miles away) and Esik, Kazakhstan (6,303 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Bison (view comparison).


The month of January in Bison experiences essentially constant cloud cover, with the percentage of time that the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy remaining about 54% throughout the month.

The clearest day of the month is January 27, with clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy conditions 47% of the time.

For reference, on March 14, the cloudiest day of the year, the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 55%, while on July 22, the clearest day of the year, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is 76%.

Cloud Cover Categories in January

Cloud Cover Categories in January in Bison1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%DecFebJan 147%Jan 147%Jan 3147%Jan 3147%Jan 1147%Jan 1147%Jan 2146%Jan 2146%clearmostly clearpartly cloudymostly cloudyovercast
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds.


A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. In Bison, the chance of a wet day over the course of January is essentially constant, remaining around 3% throughout.

For reference, the year's highest daily chance of a wet day is 33% on June 8, and its lowest chance is 3% on January 19.

Probability of Precipitation in January

The percentage of days in which various types of precipitation are observed, excluding trace quantities: rain alone, snow alone, and mixed (both rain and snow fell in the same day).


We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. As with rainfall, we consider the liquid-equivalent snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day.

The average sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall during January in Bison is essentially constant, remaining about 0.1 inches throughout, and rarely exceeding 0.5 inches or falling below -0.0 inches.

The lowest average 31-day liquid-equivalent accumulation is 0.1 inches on January 26.

Average Monthly Liquid-Equivalent Snowfall in January

The average liquid-equivalent snowfall (solid line) accumulated over the course of a sliding 31-day period centered on the day in question, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted line is the corresponding average rainfall.


Over the course of January in Bison, the length of the day is increasing. From the start to the end of the month, the length of the day increases by 55 minutes, implying an average daily increase of 1 minute, 50 seconds, and weekly increase of 12 minutes, 53 seconds.

The shortest day of the month is January 1, with 8 hours, 47 minutes of daylight and the longest day is January 31, with 9 hours, 42 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight in January

The number of hours during which the Sun is visible (black line). From bottom (most yellow) to top (most gray), the color bands indicate: full daylight, twilight (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and full night.

The latest sunrise of the month in Bison is 7:30 AM on January 2 and the earliest sunrise is 18 minutes earlier at 7:12 AM on January 31.

The earliest sunset is 4:16 PM on January 1 and the latest sunset is 38 minutes later at 4:54 PM on January 31.

Daylight saving time is observed in Bison during 2020, but it neither starts nor ends during January, so the entire month is in standard time.

For reference, on June 20, the longest day of the year, the Sun rises at 5:00 AM and sets 15 hours, 41 minutes later, at 8:42 PM, while on December 21, the shortest day of the year, it rises at 7:27 AM and sets 8 hours, 42 minutes later, at 4:09 PM.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight in January

The solar day over the course of January. From bottom to top, the black lines are the previous solar midnight, sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and the next solar midnight. The day, twilights (civil, nautical, and astronomical), and night are indicated by the color bands from yellow to gray.


We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.

The chance that a given day will be muggy in Bison is essentially constant during January, remaining around 0% throughout.

For reference, on July 18, the muggiest day of the year, there are muggy conditions 5% of the time, while on January 1, the least muggy day of the year, there are muggy conditions 0% of the time.

Humidity Comfort Levels in January

dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point.


This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.

The average hourly wind speed in Bison is essentially constant during January, remaining within 0.1 miles per hour of 12.7 miles per hour throughout.

For reference, on January 18, the windiest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 12.8 miles per hour, while on July 29, the calmest day of the year, the daily average wind speed is 9.8 miles per hour.

The highest daily average wind speed during January is 12.8 miles per hour on January 18.

Average Wind Speed in January

The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The hourly average wind direction in Bison throughout January is predominantly from the west, with a peak proportion of 52% on January 3.

Wind Direction in January

Wind Direction in January in Bison1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%DecFebwestnorthsoutheast
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions, excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1.0 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Growing Season

Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).

The growing season in Bison typically lasts for 4.7 months (145 days), from around May 7 to around September 29, rarely starting before April 19 or after May 24, and rarely ending before September 9 or after October 18.

The month of January in Bison is reliably fully outside of the growing season.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in January

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in January in Bison1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%DecFeb0%Jan 160%Jan 160%Feb 140%Feb 14frigidfreezingvery coldcold
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands. The black line is the percentage chance that a given day is within the growing season.

Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.

The average accumulated growing degree days in Bison are essentially constant during January, remaining within 1°F of 1°F throughout.

Growing Degree Days in January

The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of January, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Solar Energy

This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.

The average daily incident shortwave solar energy in Bison is gradually increasing during January, rising by 0.7 kWh, from 1.6 kWh to 2.3 kWh, over the course of the month.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in January

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in January in Bison1815222911223344556677889910101111121213131414151516161717181819192020212122222323242425252626272728282929303031310.0 kWh0.5 kWh1.0 kWh1.5 kWh2.0 kWh2.5 kWh3.0 kWh3.5 kWh4.0 kWh4.5 kWhDecFebJan 11.6 kWhJan 11.6 kWhJan 312.3 kWhJan 312.3 kWhJan 161.9 kWhJan 161.9 kWh
The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.


For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Bison are 45.520 deg latitude, -102.461 deg longitude, and 2,726 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Bison contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 164 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 2,753 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (623 feet). Within 50 miles contains significant variations in elevation (1,759 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Bison is covered by grassland (58%) and cropland (42%), within 10 miles by grassland (82%) and cropland (18%), and within 50 miles by grassland (93%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather in Bison year round, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.

Temperature and Dew Point

There are 4 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Bison.

For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Bison according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.

The estimated value at Bison is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Bison and a given station.

The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Lemmon Municipal Airport (32%, 52 kilometers, northeast); Hettinger Municipal Airport (29%, 57 kilometers, north); Faith (24%, 64 kilometers, southeast); and Buffalo (16%, 85 kilometers, west).

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.

All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.

Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .

Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .

Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.


The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.

We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.

We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.