Hurricane season 2023 is ramping up on the east coast of North America.

Here in the Upper Plains of the Midwest, hurricanes aren't really a concern. In South 
Dakota, we tend to focus on our blizzards, super-cell thunderstorms, dangerously hot AND cold temperatures, flooding, tornados, wildfires, and derechos. Plus there's drought, grasshoppers, hail, and plenty of other weather things South Dakota has to contend with. Earthquakes can even be a thing here.

But hurricanes? Kind of...

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Is South Dakota Safe From Hurricanes?

One dangerous weather event South Dakota seems to be safe from is hurricanes. Right? Well, pretty much yeah.

Hurricanes get their power, or energy, from the heat and moisture of the ocean. Once the storm complex makes landfall, it tends to dissipate and die out.

South Dakota's convenient location a thousand miles from an ocean means we don't have to deal with hurricanes much. I mean, we still can get dangerous winds, rain, tornados, and flooding around here. But, here those things come from our homegrown thunderstorms.

Has South Dakota Ever Been Hit By a Hurricane?

South Dakota has technically, kind of, in a way, has sorta been hit by a hurricane. In 1992 Hurricane Lester dumped several inches of rain on parts of the Midwest. Armour, South Dakota recorded 3.29 inches of rain.

Lester was another Pacific storm that came from the west. It came ashore in Mexico and pushed up into the southwest US bringing rain to the plains.

A similar thing happened in 2004 with Hurricane Javier. It was another Pacific storm that pushed tropical moisture north to the Dakotas.

We can hold out hope that a storm this year pushes some much-needed rainfall to the Mount Rushmore state. Until then, we'll just keep getting ready for our eight months of cold, windy, snowy, cold, miserable, cold South Dakota winter.

And hey, it's only August, still plenty of time for tornados, thunderstorms, flooding, straight-line winds, wildfire smoke, and probably wildfires themselves. Oh! and green sky derechos.

You know, on second thought, you can keep your hurricanes, South Dakota has enough weather stuff to worry about.

READ MORE: Tornado Tuesday - Remembering the Day Dozens Of Twisters Ripped Through South Dakota

A Survival Guide For Your First Winter in South Dakota

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the rest of the Sioux Empire (AKA southeastern South Dakota) are welcoming thousands of new residents every year.

Many of you new folks will be experiencing your first eastern South Dakota winter. While it doesn't usually get as bad as our Dakota friends up north, I speak from experience when I say it can get a little rough.

So, to help ease you into winter in Sioux Falls and South Dakota here are some winter survival tips:

LOOK: The Sioux Falls Tornadoes, September 2019



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