What South Dakota County Gets the Most Severe Weather?
My father-in-law loves the Weather Channel. Every time I go over to his house, it's always on in the background on one of his TV's.
If he's not watching the weather on television, he's keeping a close eye on what Mother Nature is up to on his phone.
If you too consider yourself to be somewhat of a weather nerd, you might be a little surprised to find out what county here in South Dakota receives the most severe weather events each year.
I admit, once I found out, it made perfect sense to me, since I was born in this county and lived there for a number of years.
According to the website Stacker.com, the South Dakota county that Mother Nature likes to pick on the most often year after year is Pennington County.
Pennington County, home of the Black Hills and Rapid City, the state's second largest city, has seen the most severe weather of any other South Dakota county over the past ten years.
Stacker.com reports between the years 2010 and 2020, Pennington County experienced 576 different severe storms. With the majority of the severe weather events being hail storms.
I don't doubt that for a minute. When I was living in Rapid City in the early 90's, the city was always good for several freakish thunderstorms that would pop up out of nowhere at a moments notice every summer. These thunderstorms typically had a history of producing significant amounts of hail. That has to be one of the primary reasons why insurance rates are so damn high in that part of the state.
Stacker.com explains that part of South Dakota is prime for creating updrafts that force moist air into high altitudes, where the moisture freezes and forms hailstones that fall to Earth.
The Honda Accord I was driving at the time was the unlucky recipient of some of those hailstones on a number of occasions. I didn't have a garage at the time, so my poor car took a beating during the summer months most years.
In addition to receiving a number of nasty hailstorms each year, Pennington County is also good for several thunderstorms containing high winds and flood conditions.
High winds and flooding came in second and third respectively on the Stacker.com list of severe weather events that frequent Pennington County every year.
If you have an aversion to severe weather, you might want to pick another county in South Dakota to call home.