Since Rally Started


Severe Weather Condistions Sturgis


Severe thunderstorms are a serious hazard in Sturgis and around the Black Hills during the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™. Although tornadoes are rare in this area in August, strong downburst winds and large hail pose a threat almost every afternoon and evening.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service recommends vendors develop severe weather plans for their Rally facilities, including:

Warning system.
The City of Sturgis uses its outdoor warning sirens only for tornadoes. You may not be able to hear them when there is considerable motorcycle traffic or you're indoors (they were designed to alert people who are outside). The best warning system is a NOAA Weather Radio receiver. NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations operated by local National Weather Service offices. The continuous broadcasts provide current weather warnings, forecasts, and conditions. When forecasters issue warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, and flash floods; special receivers sound a tone which alert people even if they're sleeping, outdoors, watching satellite TV, don't live near a warning siren, or the electricity is off. NOAA Weather Radio is also used to notify people of other emergencies like wildfire evacuations, hazardous material spills, or terrorist activities.

Place your weather radio receiver in a location your employees can monitor it. If you're inside a building, you may need a model that can be connected to an external antenna and has an extra jack for a strobe light in case you can't hear the tone alarm. A SAME programmable model can be set to only alarm for warnings that affect the Sturgis area. The City of Sturgis® is served by the Rapid City NOAA Weather Radio on 162.550 MHz. The SAME code for the Sturgis area, including the Interstate-90 corridor to Piedmont and Black Hawk and the foothills area east of town Ft. Meade, Bear Butte, and the airport is 446093 (because Meade County is so large, it is divided into several warning areas; the rest of southern Meade County is 846093; northern Meade County is 246093).

Most buildings in downtown Sturgis would provide adequate protection from a severe storm. Move people away from large glass windows and to the lowest level (basement or ground floor). If you're working in a tent, ask a nearby building owner or manager to allow your customers and employees to go to their building if a storm threatens the town.

Finally, when a warning is issued, take shelter yourself and don't try to save your merchandise.