The Badlands weather is variable and unpredictable with temperature extremes ranging from 116° F to -40° F. Summers are hot and dry with occasional violent thunderstorms. Hailstorms and occasional tornadoes can descend on the Badlands with sudden fury. Winters are typically cold with 12 to 24 inches of total snowfall.
Of the sixteen inches of annual precipitation, most falls during the warmer months. June is the wettest month, while December and January are the driest.
Sudden and dramatic weather changes are common. Visitors are urged to dress in layers and be prepared with hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and adequate water for hiking.
Badlands Weather Averages
Did You Know?
The badlands are some of the fastest eroding landscapes on earth with erosion rates averaging 1” per year in their fragile layers. However, in areas where sandstone is found, the erosion rate may be 1” in 500 years. Often, toadstools form when surrounding sediments erode beneath a sandstone caprock.