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Which City Has The Most Unpredictable Weather?

Among the cities we tested, the one with the most unpredictable weather is … Rapid City, South Dakota. Congratulations, Rapid City!

The ICAO code for Rapid City Regional Airport is KRAP. That’s also a good description of Rapid City’s weather. Its temperature might be 30 degrees in January — or just as easily -12. It’s snowy and windy and prone to big, unexpected winter storms. And it has a thunderstorm on almost 25 percent of days from July through September, more than the national average.

But Rapid City isn’t alone; other cities in the Great Plains and Upper Midwest dominate the most-unpredictable list. After Rapid City, those with the most unpredictable weather are Great Falls, Montana; Houghton, Michigan; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Fargo, North Dakota; Duluth, Minnesota; Bismarck, North Dakota; Aberdeen, South Dakota; Grand Island, Nebraska; and Glasgow, Montana.

For the most part, these cities are landlocked. The presence of lakes or oceans can contribute to weather problems — for instance, the huge amounts of lake-effect snow in Houghton, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (about twice as much as in notoriously snowy Buffalo, New York). But water usually does more to regulate temperatures and severe weather.

The other common thread between these cities is that not very many people live in them. Indeed, among the top 23 cities on our list, none are within the 

50 most populous metro areas in the United States. Among cities that do fall within the most populous metro areas, those with the most unpredictable weather are as follows:

  1. Kansas City, Missouri;
  2. Oklahoma City;
  3. Minneapolis;
  4. Cincinnati;
  5. Indianapolis;
  6. St. Louis;
  7. Birmingham, Alabama;
  8. Boston;
  9. Milwaukee;
  10. Dallas



Be careful out there.

Section of Rogers Pass is at high risk of avalanches

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Winds are whipping up here in Montreal as well as of 11PM