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Entries in Montana weather (81)


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. 


Summer ending with sizzle in Montana

End of summer on the Upper Clark Fork River- Dennis Bragg photo(MISSOULA)- In a year that brought a never-ending winter, a hot spell that lasted for weeks and "Snowtember", Mother Nature is giving a gift of absolutely perfect end-of-summer weather to "apologize" for the unsettled seasons.

It's another spectacular day for our last full day of summer across the state with plenty of sunshine and highs that should make it into the low to mid 80s this afternoon. Some locations may not see temperatures break 80.

Overnight lows will be mild again with lows in the lower 50s. 

Monday, high pressure will keep the sunshine in place, although there is about a 20-percent chance of showers or even thunderstorms in the afternoon. Most of that shower threat will likely impact Southwest Montana, but a chance of showers could impact Northwest Montana on Tuesday as well. 

Highs will remain around 80 with a mix of sun and clouds Tuesday. 

Long-range forecasts are still indicating a threat of some rain and cooler temperatures later this week. 


Western MT fire danger eases after wet spell

(MISSOULA)- Wetter and cooler weather may have ruined your weekend plans, but it has certainly helped with the fire danger. 

Missoula County is lowering the fire danger back to "moderate" from "high", after fire departments and other agencies reviewed the changing conditions we've experienced over the past few days. 

The change means campfires will be allowed once more, but burning of slash piles still isn't allowed.

Temperatures are forecast to ease back into the 80s later this week and the Missoula County Fire Protection Association is still warning people to be cautious, especially on windy days. They also remind hunters to make sure their warming fires are "dead out" before leaving their camps as hunting season gets underway. 

In the Bitterroot, fire restrictions will remain in place for at least another week. Ravalli County commissioners will meet again on September 2nd to decide whether to ease fire rules. 


Cold weather to continue for another day in Western MT

Snow dotted the landscape at the Apgar Lookout Tuesday- GNP webcam photo(MISSOULA)- If you didn't find your coat Tuesday, keep looking for it. Forecasters say another day of cold weather is expected on Wednesday. 

Montanans know it can snow any month of the year. But it was still a surprise when parts of the higher elevations were coated in several inches of snow on Tuesday. A very strong, and cold, Pacific front pushed through the area, pushing snow levels down to as low as 5,000 feet. Snow was quite scattered, except for the areas along the Northern Divide and Glacier National Park. That's where anywhere from 5 to 10" of new snow was reported. Elsewhere heavy rain fell, with some spots seeing up to an inch.

That's renewed some concerns about small stream flooding, slides and other problems, especially in the backcountry of the park and the regions surrounding the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. 

The National Weather Service says more high country snow is possible Wednesday, although heavy rain, especially over the Northern Rockies closest to the border. Conditions are expected to warm up Thursday. 


Colder weather raises backcountry danger

Stormy weather expected to develop in the high country overnight- GNP photo(MISSOULA)- People headed into the mountains of Western Montana will need to use an extra dose of caution, and winter gear this week, as a cold Pacific storm system will create some dangerous conditions for the unprepared through Wednesday. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for the east side of Glacier National Park extending south through the Bob Marshall Wilderness, with forecasts for up to 20-inches of snow possible between tonight and Wednesday. NWS forecasters in Great Falls say the potent system is bringing widespread precipitation, combining with below average temperatures. That's going to push snow levels to as low as 6,000 feet Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Forecasters say that could bring up to a "foot or more" of snow along the eastern slopes from the Northern Rocky Mountain Front through the Southern Front and Bob Marshall to the upper portions of the Blackfoot watershed. The general estimate is for between 10-to-20 inches of snow before the storm passes. 

Wet mountain snow is also expected to fall through the high country of Northwest Montana down to as low as 5,000 feet. 

The turn to wintry weather will raise the potential for hypothermia for hikers, climbers and others who aren't prepared for the cold, wet conditions. It also means drivers on passes like Marias and Rogers could run into slush on the road along with reduced visibility.  

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