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Average Weather at Buffalo South Dakota, United States

At Buffalo, the summers are warm and mostly clear and the winters are freezing, dry, windy, and partly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 12°F to 87°F and is rarely below -9°F or above 98°F.

Climate Summary

very coldcoldcoolwarmhotwarmcoolcoldvery coldJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec76%76%45%45%clearovercastprecipitation: 2.3 inprecipitation: 2.3 in0.1 in0.1 inmuggy: 4%muggy: 4%0%0%drydrytourism score: 6.9tourism score: 6.90.00.0
Click on each chart for more information.

Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Buffalo for warm-weather activities is from late June to late August.

Temperature

The hot season lasts for 3.1 months, from June 11 to September 14, with an average daily high temperature above 76°F. The hottest day of the year is July 24, with an average high of 87°F and low of 60°F.

The cold season lasts for 3.5 months, from November 21 to March 6, with an average daily high temperature below 42°F. The coldest day of the year is January 2, with an average low of 12°F and high of 30°F.

Average High and Low Temperature

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 entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.

Average Hourly Temperature

Average Hourly Temperature at BuffaloJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM4 AM8 AM12 PM4 PM8 PM12 AMfreezingfreezingcoldcoolwarmcomfortablecoldvery coldvery coldcomfortable
The average hourly temperature, color coded into bands: 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 shaded overlays indicate night and civil twilight.

Agarakavan, Armenia (6,177 miles away) is the far-away foreign place with temperatures most similar to Buffalo (view comparison).

Clouds

At Buffalo, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The clearer part of the year at Buffalo begins around June 11 and lasts for 3.7 months, ending around October 3. On July 24, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 76% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 24% of the time.

The cloudier part of the year begins around October 3 and lasts for 8.3 months, ending around June 11. On March 15, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 55% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 45% of the time.

Cloud Cover Categories

Cloud Cover Categories at BuffaloclearercloudiercloudierJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%Jul 2476%Jul 2476%Mar 1545%Mar 1545%Jun 1160%Jun 1160%Oct 361%Oct 361%clearmostly clearpartly cloudymostly cloudyovercast
The percentage of time spent in each cloud cover band, categorized by the percentage of the sky covered by clouds: clear < 20% < mostly clear < 40% < partly cloudy < 60% < mostly cloudy < 80% < overcast.

Precipitation

A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days at Buffalo varies significantly throughout the year.

The wetter season lasts 3.8 months, from April 24 to August 18, with a greater than 18% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 35% on June 6.

The drier season lasts 8.2 months, from August 18 to April 24. The smallest chance of a wet day is 2% on January 19.

Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation at Buffalo changes throughout the year.

Rain alone is the most common for 7.9 months, from March 18 to November 13. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 35% on June 6.

Snow alone is the most common for 4.1 months, from November 13 to March 18. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 4% on March 11.

Daily Chance of Precipitation

Daily Chance of Precipitation at BuffalosnowrainsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jun 635%Jun 635%Jan 192%Jan 192%Mar 188%Mar 188%Nov 136%Nov 136%Jan 13%Jan 13%Apr 2418%Apr 2418%Aug 1818%Aug 1818%rainsnowmixed
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).

Rainfall

To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Buffalo experiences significant seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.

The rainy period of the year lasts for 7.0 months, from March 31 to October 31, with a sliding 31-day rainfall of at least 0.5 inches. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 6, with an average total accumulation of 2.3 inches.

The rainless period of the year lasts for 5.0 months, from October 31 to March 31. The least rain falls around December 13, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Monthly Rainfall

The average rainfall (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 liquid-equivalent snowfall.

Snowfall

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. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.

As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Buffalo experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.

The snowy period of the year lasts for 6.1 months, from November 5 to May 10, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around March 31, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.3 inches.

The snowless period of the year lasts for 5.9 months, from May 10 to November 5. The least snow falls around July 19, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall

Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall at BuffalosnowsnowJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0.0 in0.5 in1.0 in1.5 in2.0 in2.5 inMar 310.3 inMar 310.3 inJul 190.0 inJul 190.0 inDec 30.1 inDec 30.1 inMay 100.1 inMay 100.1 in
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.

Sun

The length of the day at Buffalo varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 41 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 15 hours, 42 minutes of daylight.

Hours of Daylight and Twilight

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 earliest sunrise is at 5:04 AM on June 15, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 34 minutes later at 7:38 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 4:10 PM on December 10, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 37 minutes later at 8:47 PM on June 25.

Daylight saving time (DST) is observed at Buffalo during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time

Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time at BuffaloJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec12 AM2 AM4 AM6 AM8 AM10 AM12 PM2 PM4 PM6 PM8 PM10 PM12 AMJun 155:04 AMJun 155:04 AM8:47 PMJun 258:47 PMJun 25Dec 104:10 PMDec 104:10 PM7:38 AMNov 47:38 AMNov 4Mar 12DSTMar 12DSTDSTNov 5DSTNov 5daynightnightnightnightSolarMidnightSolarMidnightSolarNoonSunriseSunset
The solar day over the course of the year 2017. 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. The transitions to and from daylight saving time are indicated by the 'DST' labels.

Humidity

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 perceived humidity level at Buffalo, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, staying within 2% of 2% throughout.

Humidity Comfort Levels

Humidity Comfort Levels at BuffaloJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%100%Jan 190%Jan 190%Jul 194%Jul 194%drydrycomfortablecomfortablehumidhumid
The percentage of time spent at various humidity comfort levels, categorized by dew point: dry < 55°F < comfortable < 60°F < humid < 65°F < muggy < 70°F < oppressive < 75°F < miserable.

Wind

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 at Buffalo experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The windier part of the year lasts for 8.0 months, from September 28 to May 29, with average wind speeds of more than 11.5 miles per hour. The windiest day of the year is January 18, with an average hourly wind speed of 13.3 miles per hour.

The calmer time of year lasts for 4.0 months, from May 29 to September 28. The calmest day of the year is July 31, with an average hourly wind speed of 9.7 miles per hour.

Average Wind Speed

Average Wind Speed at BuffalowindywindyJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0 mph2 mph4 mph6 mph8 mph10 mph12 mph14 mph16 mph18 mph20 mphJan 1813.3 mphJan 1813.3 mphJul 319.7 mphJul 319.7 mphSep 2811.5 mphSep 2811.5 mphMay 2911.5 mphMay 2911.5 mph
The average of mean hourly wind speeds (dark gray line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

The predominant average hourly wind direction at Buffalo varies throughout the year.

The wind is most often from the south for 2.2 months, from June 30 to September 5, with a peak percentage of 31% on August 20. The wind is most often from the west for 9.8 months, from September 5 to June 30, with a peak percentage of 60% on January 1.

Wind Direction

Wind Direction at BuffaloWSWJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%20%80%40%60%60%40%80%20%100%0%westnorthsoutheast
The percentage of hours in which the mean wind direction is from each of the four cardinal wind directions (north, east, south, and west), excluding hours in which the mean wind speed is less than 1 mph. The lightly tinted areas at the boundaries are the percentage of hours spent in the implied intermediate directions (northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest).

Best Time of Year to Visit

To characterize how pleasant the weather is at Buffalo throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.

The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Buffalo for general outdoor tourist activities is from late June to late August, with a peak score in the last week of July.

Tourism Score

Tourism Score at Buffalobest timeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468106.96.90.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturetourism score
The tourism score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Buffalo for hot-weather activities is from early July to mid August, with a peak score in the last week of July.

Beach/Pool Score

Beach/Pool Score at BuffaloJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec02468104.54.50.00.0 precipitationprecipitationcloudscloudstemperaturetemperaturebeach/pool score
The beach/pool score (filled area), and its constituents: the temperature score (red line), the cloud cover score (blue line), and the precipitation score (green line).

Methodology

For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.

Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.

Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.

Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.

Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.

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 at Buffalo typically lasts for 4.8 months (147 days), from around May 8 to around October 2, rarely starting before April 20 or after May 26, and rarely ending before September 12 or after October 21.

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season

Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season at Buffalogrowing seasonJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec0%100%10%90%20%80%30%70%40%60%50%50%60%40%70%30%80%20%90%10%100%0%May 850%May 850%Oct 250%Oct 250%May 2690%May 2690%Sep 1290%Sep 1290%Apr 2010%Apr 2010%Oct 2110%Oct 2110%0%Dec 60%Dec 6Jul 20100%Jul 20100%frigidfreezingvery coldcoolcomfortablewarmhotcold
The percentage of time spent in various temperature bands: 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 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.

Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms at Buffalo should appear around April 20, only rarely appearing before April 4 or after May 7.

Growing Degree Days

The average growing degree days accumulated over the course of the year, 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 experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.

The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.2 months, from May 10 to August 17, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.4 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 4, with an average of 7.7 kWh.

The darker period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from October 29 to February 13, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.8 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 25, with an average of 1.6 kWh.

Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy

The average daily shortwave solar energy reaching the ground per square meter (orange line), with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands.

Topography

For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Buffalo are 45.604 deg latitude, -103.546 deg longitude, and 2,923 ft elevation.

The topography within 2 miles of Buffalo contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 207 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 2,939 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (814 feet). Within 50 miles contains significant variations in elevation (1,781 feet).

The area within 2 miles of Buffalo is covered by grassland (100%), within 10 miles by grassland (100%), and within 50 miles by grassland (91%).

Data Sources

This report illustrates the typical weather at Buffalo, 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

Buffalo has a weather station that reported reliably enough during the analysis period that we have included it in our network. When available, historical temperature and dew point measurements are taken directly from this weather station. These records are obtained from NOAA's Integrated Surface Hourly data set, falling back on ICAO METAR records as required.

In the case of missing or erroneous measurements from this station, we fall back on records from nearby stations, adjusted according to typical seasonal and diurnal intra-station differences. For a given day of the year and hour of the day, the fallback station is selected to minimize the prediction error over the years for which there are measurements for both stations.

The stations on which we may fall back are Hettinger Municipal Airport, Baker Municipal Airport, Black Hills Airport, Dickinson Municipal Airport, Lemmon Municipal Airport, Ellsworth Air Force Base, Faith, and Rapid City Regional Airport.

Other Data

All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , 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.

Disclaimer

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.