National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

A question we are often asked is "By what date does my town typically get its first freeze?" The charts and maps below will help answer that question for a number of locations across western South Dakota.

The charts below show the percentage of past years in which the first frost (36º F) or freeze (32º F or below) occurred by a specific date. For example, in 90% of past years, Rapid City first reached 32º F by October 12. In half of the past years, Rapid City reached 28ºF by October 9th.

The regional maps farther down show the average date of the first freeze (32º F) and hard freeze (28º F).

A special thanks to South Dakota State Climatologist, Dennis Todey for the data in the charts. More percentiles and locations can be found at South Dakota State University's Climate Page.

Rapid City 36º F 32º F 28º F 24º F
90% Sep 30 Oct 12 Oct 25 Nov 8
50% Sep 20 Sep 26 Oct 9 Oct 18
10% Sep 10 Sep 13 Sep 23

Sep 27

 

Lead 36º F 32º F 28º F 24º F
90% Sep 22 Oct 4 Oct 22 Oct 31
50% Sep 12 Sep 20 Oct 1 Oct 11
10% Aug 22 Sep 8 Sep 14

Sep 24

   

Custer 36º F 32º F 28º F 24º F
90% Sep 15 Sep 22 Oct 6 Oct 18
50% Aug 18 Sep 9 Sep 17 Sep 28
10% Jul 1 Aug 8 Sep 2

Sep 10

 

Faith 36º F 32º F 28º F 24º F
90% Oct 2 Oct 11 Oct 24 Nov 3
50% Sep 21 Sep 26 Oct 7 Oct 18
10% Sep 9 Sep 13 Sep 23

Sep 26

  

Camp Crook 36º F 32º F 28º F 24º F
90% Sep 18 Sep 27 Oct 7 Oct 19
50% Sep 3 Sep 15 Sep 23 Oct 4
10% Jul 28 Sep 1 Sep 10

Sep 16

 

Maps: Median Date for first freeze (32º F) and hard freeze (28º F).

A special thanks to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center for these maps.

Median Date of 32º F Fall Freeze

Median Date of 28º F Fall Freeze