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Entries in Montana weather records (7)


Drought assistance coming for 15 Montana counties 

U.S. Drought Monitor map from July 7(HELENA)- 15-Montana counties are being declared as disaster areas because of this year's long dry spell. 

Much of Western Montana moved into "extreme drought" conditions as June brought record high temperatures and some of the lowest precipitation totals in decades. That designation, known officially as "D3-D4" is the second highest level of drought monitored in the United States. 

Now, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has informed Governor Steve Bullock the U.S.D.A. will list 15-counties as primary natural disaster areas because of the drought. The list includes Missoula, Ravalli, Lake, Flathead, Mineral, Granite, Sanders, Lincoln, Glacier, Silver Bow, Powell, Pondera, Lewis and Clark, Deer Lodge and Beaverhead Counties. 

The designation opens the doors for farmers to apply for emergency loans and assistance programs within the next 8-months. 


Montana summer was hot, but no record breaker

A summer to remember, but not one for the record books- GNP webcam photo(MISSOULA)- It may have seemed the temperature was permanently stuck above 90-degrees through the summer. But a final check of the weather records shows this year wasn't even in the Top 10 hottest summers in Western Montana. 

While other parts of the Northwest like Seattle experienced the hottest summer on record, Western Montana actually had what might be considered a fairly typical summer. 

The National Weather Service office in Missoula reports there were 21-days in July, or nearly the entire month, when the official temperature was 90-degrees or higher. However, things turned around in August, with only 10-days topping the 90-degree mark. And NWS says once again this year we didn't have a single day when Missoula's official temperature broke 100-degrees. 

And the last month of summer didn't change that picture either, especially with the mid-September cold snap that brought snow to the mountains. Last week's hot temperatures did break some records for individual days, but happened on the first few days of autumn. 


2013 Stevensville's driest in almost 80-years

The Bitterroot River reached some of its lowest levels in decades last summer(STEVENSVILLE)- Everyone in the Bitterroot knew last summer was exceptionally dry. But now a check of the weather records shows it was the driest in Stevesville in nearly 80-years.

A fairly mild winter, followed by a dry spell in the spring and more dry conditions in the summer and fall created one of the driest years in recent memory in the Bitterroot. 

The Bitterroot River was a perfect indicator of the dry spell, reaching one of the lowest levels in decades. 

And now the National Weather Service has confirmed it wasn't just our imagination. A check of the records shows it 2013 was the driest year in Stevensville in 78-years, with records going all the way back to 1911. Stevensville only received 8.33-inches of rain this past year, the lowest amount since 7.4-inches in 1931. 

It was much the same in the southern Bitterroot. NWS says Hamilton had just over 9-inches of rain, the smallest amount since 1966. 

Traditionally the Bitterroot would see an average of just over 12-inches of rain per year.


Back to the cold for Montana's weather

Clouds began building over Glacier National Park Tuesday afternoon- GNP photo(MISSOULA)- It was nice while it lasted. 

But forecasters with the National Weather Service say a welcome dip into warm temperatures across Montana will come to an end Wednesday as another Arctic cold front pushed into the Northern Rockies from Canada. 

Temperatures the past three days have been far above average. Tuesday's highs climbed into the 50s in many areas. Holter Dam was the warmest at 58-degrees, while Butte set a record high temperature for this date of 53-degrees, tying the mark from 1980. One of the automatated weather stations in Hamilton even hit an unofficial high of 61-degrees, but that mark wasn't verified. 

However, by Tuesday evening temperatures were already starting to drop, and the National Weather Service has issued watches and warnings for winter weather in most areas of the state. Northwest Montana, along the Divide and down the Rocky Mountain Front are expected to see the most impacts from this new storm, witch temperatures dropping into the teens, with high winds and several inches of snow possible. 


Coldest April 15th in Missoula history

MISSOULA)- If you live in Missoula, you now have something in common with the Garden City's earliest residents, surviving the coldest April 16th morning on record. 

And in fact, you even made it through a morning that was one degree colder than that April 16th over a century ago.

The National Weather Service says Missoula's official low temperature of 19-degrees this morning broke the old record of 20-degrees that had stood since way back in 1896. NWS forecasters had predicted the cold would be close to the record, expecting to hit a low of 22-this morning. But clear skies helped the temperature to drop even further, eclipsing the old record. 

And there's potential for another new record to be set Wednesday morning as the unseasonable cold snap continues. NWS forecasters have revised their forecast and are now expecting Missoula's low to hit a very frigid 18-degrees Wednesday morning. That would break the old record of 19-degrees, which also dates back to 1896.

A freeze warning remains in effect for the Missoula, Bitterroot, Lower Clark Fork and Kootenai valleys through 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. People are being advised to take measures to protect sprouting plants and tree buds to prevent damage.