October may mean fall colors, but in South Dakota October could mean anything. Anything.
“It sucks.” Everyone who lives in South Dakota says the same thing, “The weather just sucks.” Whether or not someone agrees, they can’t deny the simple fact that the weather here is bizarrely out of tune with anywhere else in the country. It will always be cold around the same time of year in New York, and it will always stay sunny and warm down in Arizona.
In South Dakota every day is a new adventure: it can be super windy one day, then calm but raining the next. Then out of the blue comes a cold front and we are down 20 degrees, then back up within the week. The states surrounding South Dakota are more constant: Wyoming is always windy, North Dakota is always colder and windier, Minnesota always gets icy in the winter. But South Dakota is a coin toss.
Being a senior this year, I was looking forward to having a stretch of time for fall weather when I could take senior pictures in some nice scenery. Instead, fall lasted for about a week. It was nice while it lasted, but now, looking out the window of Mr. Sheehy’s room, plows just rolled by, and all the bright colors of autumn have already fallen, succumbing to the pale blanket of winter.
Yet even now, one week it’s snowing and sleeting, the next temperatures are to reach 70 degrees. Maybe fall will make a comeback, but the trees can’t return their shed leaves to their branches.
I will say, I enjoy living here and I’m proud of where I come from and where I live. The fact that I can make fun of South Dakota weather is one of the highlights of my day-to-day living. Also, I can make fun of other states for not having our odd weather, it’s something that is only unique to South Dakota. So take that, Other Dakota!
Either way this is my point: South Dakota needs to get its act together. Sure, there is a little adventure in not knowing what the weather is going to do. Will it snow with no clouds outside? Probably. But there comes a time when the uncertainty is too much to worry about. It’s a constant annoyance to walk outside and have too many layers on, having to carry them around for most of the day. Or not having enough layers on and having to suffer and curse under your breath the whole drive to work. South Dakota needs a planner, like the ones they gave to kids in school to keep track of their assignments. Only South Dakota’s planner is going to be filled with the seasons in their proper order. No more flip-flopping seasons in a week’s time. No more switching from 4-wheel drive, to 2-wheel drive, then back to 4-wheel drive in a day. No more one-week seasons. No more sucky South Dakota weather.
I’m proud to live here, but man, the weather sure needs to figure it’s stuff out.
Photo by Brian Neidan