The Black Hills area of South Dakota can experience spectacular temperature variations. Day-to-day changes occur as cold and warm fronts cross the northern Plains. However, temperature ranges across the area at a given time can be just as great. They happen rapidly as the wind direction changes, most notably the warming Chinook winds. Other temperature differences are caused by inversions, when warm air flows over a shallow pool of cold air. Because the Black Hills rise above the plains like an island in a body of water, they are in the warm air layer. The most notable temperature fluctuations occurred on January 22, 1943 when temperatures rose and fell almost 50 degrees in a few minutes.
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