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November/December 2009

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South Dakota's Climate and Weather

With a population of less than a million residents, South Dakota is known to have one of the least hospitable climates in the country. Those residing there have no choice but to live by the watch words of “change” and “extreme” when it comes to their state's weather.

South Dakota is located in the middle of the North American continent, a position that allows air masses originating in the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, the desert Southwest, and the polar and arctic regions to influence it with some regularity. The result is four distinct seasons that can include devastating summer tornadoes, crippling winter blizzards, and every variety of mid-latitude weather in between.

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