National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Halloween in the Black Hills region has a reputation of being a cold, stormy night. But do the weather records support this claim?

Rapid City has recorded precipitation 26 times in over 130 years and reported snow only 12 years. The greatest snowfall measured in town on October 31 was 5.6 inches of snow in 1920. Gillette has had precipitation on Halloween 18 times and snow has occurred 12 times. The deepest snow was five inches in 1928 and 1920. Lead is more likely to have moisture on Halloween: Precipitation has been measured 29 times in 110 years and snow has fallen 19 times. Trick-or-treaters had to trudge through more than a foot of snow in 1996. Winner and Lemmon have had fewer wet and white Halloweens, but the greatest snow depths are nine and ten inches, respectively. 

Most of the high temperature records were set recently. Rapid City, Lead, and Gillette set their October 31 record highs in 1999. Winner's and Lemmon's record highs were reached in 1990. On the other end of the scale, in 1991 many temperatures dipped below zero behind a powerful snowstorm that moved across the Midwest.

The following tables show climate information for Rapid City, Lead, Gillette, Winner and Lemmon on Halloween, as well as the weather at the Rapid City Airport for the past ten years. Average highs are in the low to mid 50s, with average lows around 30.

The past ten years at the Rapid City airport have been dry, with just a little bit of rain in 2013. Halloween at the airport was right at normal temperatures in 2018.

This data shows October weather is highly variable as the seasons transition from fall to winter. Because conditions can change drastically from day to day, keep track of the forecast and prepare for whatever elements are predicted this Halloween.