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Most of South Dakota lies within the Great Plains of the United States. Thus, the climate of South Dakota, like that of the Great Plains, has been one of relatively little precipitation and frequent droughts. However, periods of rather high rainfall have led to considerable optimism. Likewise droughts like those of the 1930's may have led to too much pessimism. What is the real picture of the variability of South Dakota climate? The purpose of this pamphlet is to help answer this question. No one knows with certainty what will happen in the future. The best indication of what can be expected in future years is indicated by past patterns of precipitation and droughts. This pattern can be pictured by a set of maps which show areas that were "dry" or "wet" and how they change from year to year. This pamphlet presents such maps for the years 1900 through 1950. The maps for 1930 to 1933 have been redrawn from those previously published. Those from 1934 to 1950 were prepared using the same method. These maps are divided by lines into arid, semi-arid, dry subhumid, moist subhumid, humid, and superhumid moisture regions. These terms were established for the United States by observing the effects of different amounts of moisture on plants in the Great Plains.

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South Dakota State College


Agricultural Economics