Climatological Report (Annual)
Issued by NWS
CXUS55 KTFX 022101
NOUS45 KTFX DDHHMM CCA
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
200 PM MST WED JAN 2 2013
THIS DATA IS PRELIMINARY UNTIL CERTIFIED BY NATIONAL CLIMATIC DATA
...2012 WEATHER SUMMARY FOR NORTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MONTANA...
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE / NORMAL/ DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL
Great Falls....47.3 / 44.6... +2.7...12th warmest year of record.
Havre..........45.4 / 43.5... +1.9...15th warmest year of record.
Helena.........47.2 / 45.3... +1.8... 4th warmest year of record.
Bozeman........44.9 / 45.2... -0.4... 3rd warmest year of record.
Cut Bank.......43.1 / 42.1... +1.0...20th warmest year of record.
Dillon.........45.2 / 42.8... +2.4... 1st warmest year of record.
Lewistown......44.6 / 43.1... +1.5...19th warmest year of record.
W Yellowstone..36.0 / 34.4... +1.6...19th warmest year of record.
HIGHEST / LOWEST TEMPERATURES
Great Falls....102 on 08/08 / -21 on 01/18
Havre..........100 on 08/06 08/06 / -25 on 12/25
Helena......... 98 on 06/24 06/25 / -9 on 01/18
Bozeman........ 99 on 08/08 / -10 on 11/10
Cut Bank....... 95 on 08/05 08/28 / -29 on 01/18
Dillon......... 95 on 08/28 / -7 on 11/11
Lewistown...... 96 on 08/28 / -19 on 01/18
W Yellowstone.. 86 on 07/30 08/08 / -29 on 12/19
PRECIPITATION / NORMAL / DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL / MOST IN 24 HOURS
Great Falls....13.13 / 14.75 / -1.62 / 1.18 on 07/14-15
Havre..........12.81 / 11.20 / +1.60 / 1.76 on 03/19
Helena......... 9.77 / 11.22 / -1.45 / 1.09 on 11/08-09
Bozeman........ 9.35 / 14.10 / -4.75 / 0.62 on 11/08-09
Cut Bank....... 9.62 / 10.85 / -1.23 / 0.81 on 06/05
Dillon......... 6.19 / 10.50 / -4.31 / 0.65 on 03/18-19
Lewistown......15.36 / 16.85 / -1.49 / 1.26 on 05/19-20
W Yellowstone..21.11 / 21.09 / +0.02 / 0.91 on 05/25
Some temperature and precipitation highlights and ranking...
Bozeman...This was the third warmest year of record at Bozeman, and
the warmest year since 2007.
2012 was the fifth driest year of record, and the driest
At Bozeman MSU, this was the 25th snowiest year of record.
Cut Bank...This was the warmest year since 2007. 2012 was the 36th
driest of record.
Dillon...This was the warmest year of record. The old record was set
in 1998. 2012 was the driest year of record. The old record
was set in 1966 when only 6.26 inches of precipitation
Great Falls...This was not only the 12th warmest year, but the
warmest year since 1988. 2012 was the 39th driest year
of record, and the driest since 2007. For snowfall,
this was the 32nd snowiest year of record.
Havre.....This was the 15th warmest year and the warmest year since
2001. This was the 54th wettest year of record.
Helena....This was the fourth warmest year of record, and the
warmest year since 2007. This was also the 34th driest of
record, and the driest since 2008. For snowfall, this was
the 57th snowiest year of record, and the snowiest since
Lewistown..This was the 19th warmest year of record, and the warmest
year since 2006. 2012 was the 36th driest year of record.
West Yellowstone...This was the 19th warmest year of record and the
warmest since 2003. 2012 was the 31st wettest
year of record. This was the 43rd snowiest year
SNOWFALL / DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL / MOST IN 24 HOURS / MAX SNOW ON GRD
Great Falls.. 62.2 / -0.9 / 14.0 on 11/08-09 / 11 inches on 11/09
Havre.........45.4 / +0.9 / 11.9 on 03/19 / 12 inches on 11/10-12
Helena........51.3 /+13.2 / 10.0 on 01/18 / 14 inches on 01/20
Cut Bank...... 6.0 on 11/08 / 6 inches on 11/09
Dillon........ 6.0 on 03/18-19 / 6 inches on 03/19
Lewistown..... 10.0 on 03/18-19 / 10 inches on 03/20
Bozeman MSU.. 88.8 / -2.2 / 13.0 on 03/19 / 10 inches on 03/19
W Yellowston.151.4 / -9.2 / 9.0 on 02/26 / 49 inches on 03/01-03
AVERAGE WIND / DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL / PEAK WIND /MPH/
Great Falls....11.4 mph / -0.7 / 74 mph on 01/25 and 7/30
15th calmest yr
Havre.......... 9.8 mph / +0.7 / 62 mph on 03/13...30th windiest yr
Helena......... 6.5 mph / -0.5 / 60 mph on 02/22...10th calmest yr
Bozeman........ 5.6 mph / -0.3 / 65 mph on 04/23... 9th calmest yr
Cut Bank.......12.5 mph / -0.2 / 78 mph on 01/29...20th calmest yr
Dillon......... 8.9 mph / -0.3 / 60 mph on 10/16...21st calmest yr
Lewistown...... 9.2 mph / 0.0 / 59 mph on 02/22 and 03/13
21st calmest yr
W Yellowstone.. 6.1 mph 51 mph on 01/18 and 03/13
LAST SPRING FROST / FIRST FALL FROST
Great Falls....05/03 05/13 / 10/04 09/25
Havre..........05/11 05/13 / 10/01 09/20
Helena.........05/02 05/21 / 10/03 09/22
Bozeman........06/04 06/02 / 08/25 09/11
Cut Bank.......05/31 05/26 / 09/12 09/12
Dillon.........06/04 06/03 / 09/12 09/12
Lewistown......05/19 05/29 / 09/12 09/11
DAYS OF MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE 90F OR HIGHER / 32F OR LOWER
Great Falls.... 33 18 / 34 40
Havre.......... 35 24 / 40 54
Helena......... 33 24 / 37 41
Bozeman........ 33 33 / 32 35
Cut Bank....... 16 8 / 45 48
Dillon......... 21 8 / 35 45
Lewistown...... 20 11 / 44 44
DAYS WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE 32F OR LOWER / 0F OR LOWER
Great Falls.... 158 166 / 13 21
Havre.......... 182 180 / 21 31
Helena......... 170 167 / 6 18
Bozeman........ 195 178 / 12 22
Cut Bank....... 190 183 / 17 27
Dillon......... 190 191 / 9 14
Lewistown...... 181 181 / 14 21
MILESTONES REACHED DURING 2011...
Jan...Average temperature of 28.0F was the fourth warmest of record
and the warmest since 1984.
Precipitation of 0.10 inches was the fourth driest of record.
Mar...Peak wind gust of 65 mph was the highest of record. the old
record was 58 mph in 1960 and 2010. Wind average of 7.8 mph
was the windiest since 1989.
Average temperature of 40.2F was the third warmest of record
and the warmest since 2007.
Apr...Wind gust of 65 mph is a new high gust for the month. The old
record was 58 mph in 1960 and 2010.
Wind average of 6.4 mph was the fifth calmest of record, and
the calmest since 2009.
May...Wind speed average of 5.5 mph was the calmest of record. Old
record was 5.8 mph in 2008.
Jun...Precipitation of 0.94 inches was the fifth driest of
record, and the driest June since 1985.
Aug...Second calmest August of record with an average wind speed of
5.4 mph. This was the calmest August since 2009.
Precipitation of 0.23 inches was the sixth driest of record,
and the driest august since 2001.
Sep...Second calmest September of record with an average wind speed
of 4.6 mph. This was the calmest September since 2008.
Summer...The period of June through August was the third driest of
record with 1.55-inches of rain. This was the driest summer
Fall...The period from September through November was the fourth
calmest of record with an average speed of 4.8 mph. This was
the calmest fall since 2010.
Jan...A peak gust of 78 mph was the highest in January since 2007.
Aug...A peak gust of 72 mph was the highest gust of record for August.
Jan...Precipitation of 0.02 inches was the fourth driest January of
record...and the driest since 2005.
Mar...Average temperature of 38.5F was the fifth warmest of record
and the warmest since 2007.
Jun...Precipitation of 0.26 inches was the third driest June of
record and the driest since 1979.
Jul...Average temperature of 69.1F was the fifth warmest of record
and the warmest since 2007.
Jan...A gust of 74 mph was the second highest gust of record for
January. Also, the highest was 77 mph in 1974.
Mar...Wind average of 14.6 mph was the windiest March since 1988.
May...A gust of 56 mph was the highest in May since 1989.
Jul...A gust of 74 mph was the highest July gust since 1990 when a
gust to 85 mph was recorded.
Sep...Precipitation of only a trace was the driest September
of record, and the driest since 1932.
The snow season from Jul 1 2011 - Jun 30 2012 produced only 40
inches. This was the lowest amount since 1997-98.
A 47-day period from Aug 16 through Oct 1 produced only a trace of
precipitation. This is the second longest period with no measurable
precipitation. The longest is 62 days in 1907.
Jan...A peak wind gust of 58 mph was the second highest January
gust of record. highest is 60 mph in 1976.
Mar...average wind speed of 12.8 mph was the highest of record.
Average temperature of 40.9F was the 5th warmest of record and
the warmest since 1986.
Precipitation of 1.91 inches is the second highest of record.
Jun...Average wind speed of 12.2 mph was the highest of record. The
old record was 12.0 mph in 1973.
Nov...Snowfall of 16.5 inches was the fifth highest of record.
The snow season from July 1 2011- June 30 2012 produced only 17.4
inches. This was the lowest amount since 1997-98.
For the 242 day period that ended March 18 2012, this was the second
longest period with two or less inches of precipitation at Havre. The
longest is 258 days from Sep 28 1987 through Jun 12 1988.
Jun...A 59 mph peak gust was the highest June gust since 1999.
Jul...The second calmest of record with an average speed of 6.1 mph,
the normal is 7.6 mph.
Average temperature of 73.4F was the fifth warmest of record and
the warmest since 2007.
Sep...No precipitation fell in September making it the driest of
record, and the driest since 1880.
An average wind speed of 5.4 mph was the fifth calmest of
record, and the calmest since 2011.
Nov...Precipitation of 1.78 inches was the fifth highest of record.
Fall...The period from September through November was the fifth
calmest of record with an average speed of 5.5 mph. This was
the calmest fall since 1987.
A 32-day period from Sep 1 through Oct 2 produced no precipitation.
This is the longest period with no precipitation. The old record was
31 days set in 1904 and 1985.
With only six sub-zero days, this was the lowest number in a year
Mar...Average temperature of 39.8F was the fourth warmest of record
and the warmest since 1986.
Apr...Precipitation of 3.36 inches was the fifth highest of record.
Jun...Windiest June since 1990 with an average speed of 10.0 mph.
Sep...Precipitation of only 0.02-inches was the 2nd driest September
of record, and the driest since 1990.
Average wind speed of 6.7 mph was the fourth calmest of
record, and the calmest since 2008.
TEMPERATURE warm| DAILY WIND DAILY
HIGHS LOWS lows| HIGH AVG LOW AVG GUST PRECIP
Bozeman 14 3 5 6 17 21 3
Cut Bank 4 3 2 1 6 16 3
Dillon 8 3 13 3 6 43 3
Great Falls 4 1 3 2 10 5 1
Havre 8 1 4 10 4 20 3
Helena 3 1 3 4 15 11 3
Lewistown 4 1 7 3 1 9 2
W Yellowstone 2 4 5 5
The following is a summary of significant weather events and patterns
during the year...
Generally mild conditions prevailed during the first one-half of
January. Temperatures were as much as 30 degrees above normal during
the first week. The warmest temperatures of the month were on the
fourth and fifth, with record highs set and temperatures reaching the
mid 60s. These were the warmest temperatures in January since 2006.
Wind was a natural companion of the warm air. A downed power line
sparked one of the largest fires in history in the Browning area on
the fourth. The fire burned around 18000 acres. Winds gusted to near
80 mph during the fire. A snow event around the 11th brought up to a
foot of snow to Marias Pass and portions of the Rockies. A cold front
brought much colder air and snow to the area on the 15th. High
temperatures did not rise out of the -10 to -15 degree range along
the Hi-line on the 16th and 17th. Lows dropped as low as -31F on the
17th. By the end of the month warmer air returned, with gusty winds.
Gusts reached 74 mph at Great Falls on the 25th, the second highest
January gust of record.
Temp 66F at Valentine -33F at Havre 26N
Precip 4.30 inches at East Glacier.
Wind Gust 92 mph west of Pendroy
123 mph at Logan Pass
February temperatures averaged above normal as northwesterly flow
aloft dominated the area. Above normal precipitation fell over most
mountainous areas, with below normal amounts at lower elevations.
With above normal temperatures in February, this was the eighth
consecutive month with above normal temperatures. Mild conditions
continued from January into the first week of February. On the
fourth, Grass Range reached 52F, while cold air trapped in southwest
valleys allowed temperatures to drop to -24F at Wisdom on the fifth.
During the middle of the month, changeable weather conditions
occurred, with periods of precipitation. On the 20th, up to 10 inches
of snow fell in the Little Belts, with 17 inches in the Bridgers on
the 21st. Warmer conditions returned with 56F recorded in Fort Benton
on the 22nd. Windy conditions accompanied the warm air. Logan Pass
reached 113 mph and Hyalite Peak clocked winds at 97 mph. Reports of
gusts into the 70s /mph/ accompanied a cold front that brought
thunderstorms, graupel and hail to many parts of central Montana on
the 224th. At Great Falls, this was the first February thunderstorm
Temp 56F at Fort Benton -24F at Wisdom
Precip 3.60 inches at Many Glacier
Wind Gust 113 mph at Logan Pass
Temperatures in March were above normal, as much as 7-9 degrees
above normal. Above normal precipitation fell across southwest
Montana and portions of the Hi-line, but below normal amounts fell
elsewhere. Havre had their second wettest March of record. March was
a windy month, with above normal wind speeds. After a snowy and windy
start to the month, dry, windy and mild conditions prevailed
mid-month. During a warm period around the 13th wind gusts to 63 mph
occurred at Great Falls and 62 mph at Havre. At Havre, this tied for
the highest all-time gust in February. Cooler conditions and
precipitation dominated from the 18th-20th. Up to a foot of snow fell
over higher elevations of southwest Montana. A storm developing over
central Montana on the 19th produced blizzard conditions and two feet
or more of snow in the Highwood and Bears Paw Mountains. Wind gusts
to 50 mph pushed the snow into five foot drifts.
Temp 72F at Grass Range -20F at West Yellowstone
Precip 5.03 inches at Marias Pass
Wind Gust 76 mph at East Glacier
117 mph at Logan Pass
Windy conditions of March continued into early April. Temperatures
were near normal, Havre set a daily high temperature of 74F on the
fourth. From the 6th through 19th, precipitation fell at regular
intervals. After some snow on the 5th and 6th, temperatures warmed by
the 11th with high temperatures in the upper 70s. Another storm brought
generous amounts of rain from the Highwoods to the Hi-line on the
11th. Over two inches of rain fell in the Highwoods. Windy conditions
returned from the 20th-24th, along with warmer temperatures. Gusts
reached 85 mph near East Glacier on the 20th. A point near Rudyard
topped out at 90F on the 23rd. Some cooling occurred, then on the
23rd thunderstorms produced wind gusts to 65 mph at Belgrade. A late
month storm produced widespread precipitation and heavy snow in the
mountains. Close to a foot of snow fell over most mountains, with
precipitation amounts to two inches.
Temp 90F at near Rudyard 4F at Laurin
Precip 9.50 inches at Sacajawea
Wind Gust 85 mph at Deep Creek RAWS
May temperatures were mostly below normal as a ridge of high
pressure dominated. A storm system moving through central Montana
produced up to nine inches of snow in the Bears Paws and 1.13-inches
of rain near Lloyd on the sixth. Much warmer conditions by the ninth
produced new record high temperatures at Bozeman and Dillon. By the
tenth, snow again fell across the region with up to eight inches in
the Little Belts and four inches around Bozeman. Very cold air
settled in with lows of 10F at Wisdom and 20F at Cut Bank on the
11th. Another rapid warm-up occurred by the 15th, with cut bank
reaching 87F. The stormiest period occurred mid-month with cooler
temperatures and heavy rain. Crystal Lake measured 1.30 inches of
rain with over one inch at Rocky Boy. Thunderstorms produced gusts to
59 mph near Grant. By the time the storm was over, up to two feet of
snow fell in the Little Belts and Tobacco Roots. Though dry
conditions returned during the last few days, a thunderstorm produced
59 mph winds and pea-sized hail near Geyser.
Temp 88F at Havre and Chinook 10F at Wisdom
Precip 7.90 inches at Sacajawea
Wind Gust 72 mph at Garden Wall GNP
June temperatures were below normal over western portions and a bit
above normal east. Overall, it was the warmest June since 2007.
Precipitation was mostly below normal. During the first few days, warm
conditions prevailed, with scattered thunderstorms. The most
organized thunderstorms of the month occurred on the fourth and
fifth. Three tornadoes occurred in central Montana on the fifth,
along with large hail and very strong winds. Cooler air behind this
system dropped temperatures below freezing over the southwest on the
seventh, with Wisdom reaching 22F. Up to 10 inches of snow fell over
higher elevations of southwest and central Montana. Warm and humid
conditions returned during the later half of the month. Some the
highest dew points since 1975 occurred, with a dew point of 69F at
Lewistown. Record high temperatures occurred on the 24th. High winds
prevailed over the northern plains on the 27th. Gusts reached 71 mph
west of Dupuyer and 76 mph at Heart Butte.
Temp 99F at Valentine 22F at Wisdom
Precip 6.70 inches at Many Glacier
Wind Gust 100 mph near Danvers
July turned into the warmest July since 2007. Temperatures were
above normal, with below normal precipitation. Windy conditions
along the Rocky Mountain Front produced gusts to 60 mph over the
plains, and 86 mph at Logan Pass. The warmest period of the month,
from the sixth to 13th, pushed temperatures to near 100F. Great Falls
reached 98F. Heavy rainfall on the 15th set a daily record of 0.98
inches at Havre, meanwhile over two inches fell near Sand Coulee.
More thunderstorms on the 17th dumped over two inches near Gibson
Dam. Heavy rain in the Rockies caused rivers to rise. Very warm
temperatures and scattered thunderstorms dominated the last half of
the month. A gust to 74 mph at Great Falls on the 30th was the
strongest July gust at Great Falls since 1990.
Temp 103F at Armells Creek 27F at Gates Park
Precip 3.66 inches at Elkhorn RAWS
Wind Gust 86 mph at Logan Pass
Under a ridge of high pressure, below normal precipitation was a
large factor. Soil moisture values were at their lowest levels since
2007. Temperatures were near to slightly above normal. Cool
conditions early in the month produced a record low temperature at
Bozeman on the fourth. Temperatures rebounded by the fifth with
several record high temperatures being set. On the ninth, a
thunderstorm at Jackson dumped 2.15 inches of rain in a short time.
This is the greatest 24-hour amount of record at Jackson. Great Falls
reached 102F on the eighth. One of the strongest Canadian cold fronts
in a decade passed through central Montana on the 14th. Gusts to 72
mph set an August gust record at Cut Bank. Gusts reached 62 mph at
Great Falls and 86 mph at Millegan. Extensive tree damage occurred in
Great Falls. A trace of snow fell at 8400 feet in Glacier Park. Again
on the 24th, another strong cold front moved through the state. Winds
gusted to 57 mph at Galata. Behind the front, Wisdom fell to 17F on
the 25th. Fires in many areas were causing hazy skies due to smoke.
Temp 102F at Great Falls 17f at Wisdom
Precip 2.50 inches at Jackson
Wind Gust 86 mph at Millegan
In September...above normal temperatures and below normal
precipitation dominated. Temperatures were as much as five degrees
above normal at Dillon. This was the fourth consecutive month with
above normal temperature averages. Many locations recorded no
precipitation at all, making it the driest months of record.
Thunderstorms in the Bozeman area early in the month snapped a few
power poles near Gallatin Gateway. Meanwhile, up to four inches of
snow fell at Swiftcurrent Lookout in Glacier National Park. More
thunderstorms on the ninth produced gusts to 59 mph near Kremlin and
some small hail. On the 12th, Wisdom cooled to 10F. This was their
coolest September temperature since 2000. On the 25th, some light
showers ended a 24-day streak with no precipitation at Great Falls.
Temp 94F at Fort Benton 10F at Wisdom
Precip 1.32 inches at Red Rock RAWS
Wind Gust 85 mph at Logan Pass
Northwest flow aloft contributed to a month of below normal
temperatures and above normal precipitation. The coolest anomalies
were across northcentral Montana, with temperature averages as much
as six degrees be low normal. Winds picked up in October, with a gust
to 86 mph at Logan Pass on the first. On the second, Havre reached
83F, with up to a foot of snow falling at Mount Lockhart, in western
Teton County. By the fourth, record low temperatures occurred in
southwest Montana, with a low as cold as -1F at Wisdom on the sixth.
At most locations, this was the coolest October since 2005. This was
also the earliest of record that Wisdom recorded a sub-zero
temperature. Windy conditions on the 16th produced gusts to 87 mph
near Millegan. Dillon peaked at 60 mph, which set a new October high
gust record. Dime size hail fell from thunderstorms east of Townsend.
Near the end of the month, Heart Butte measured six inches of snow on
the 22nd and 23rd.
Temp 86F at Loma -1F at Wisdom and West Yellowstone
Precip 8.10 inches at Many Glacier
Wind Gust 90 mph at Logan Pass
During November, a ridge of high pressure dominated. This pattern
contributed to above normal temperatures over the southwest, and
below normal temperature northeast. Anomalies were from six degrees
above normal at Ennis to nearly five degrees below normal in Blaine
County. Precipitation amounts were generally above normal. The
wettest areas were across the Gallatin Range in the southwest, and
the northern Rockies. On the first, thunderstorms dropped pea-size
hail near Canyon Creek in Lewis and Clark County. Winds increased by
the fifth, with a gust to 100 mph at Logan Pass and 83 mph at Two
Medicine. The primary storm of the month occurred from the 8th
through 11th. Daily and storm records were exceeded at several
locations. Gold Butte received 17 inches over a two day period. This
was an all-time amount for a 48-hour period at Gold Butte. Great
Falls received 14 inches over a 24-hour period on the eighth and
ninth. This was the highest 24-hour amount of record at Great
Falls. After the snow stopped, Gold Butte fell to -18F on the 11th.
Another storm affected a smaller area on the 21st. For a two-day
period ending the 21st, Goat Haunt, in the northern Rockies, received
3.69 inches of precipitation.
Temp 71F at Valentine/Ft Benton -18f at Gold Butte
Precip 8.40 inches at Many Glacier
Wind Gust 100 mph at Logan Pass
December temperatures averaged near to slightly above normal. The
hi-line averaged below normal, as much as 4-degrees below
normal. Precipitation was near or slightly above normal most areas,
with below normal in the southwest. The wettest areas were higher
locations in the Rockies and southwest mountains. Helena did have
their wettest December since 1982. Warm temperatures on the first
produced a record high temperature of 59F at Bozeman. A snow storm on
the eighth and ninth produced heavy snow in central Montana. Sand
Coulee measured a foot of snow, with Great Falls receiving nearly
6-inches. Drier conditions prevailed for most of the rest of the
month. Windy conditions on the 20th produced very high winds in many
areas. A location near Cascade reported a gust to 78 mph. Colder air
settled in across the state after the 23rd. West Yellowstone and a
point near Rudyard dropped to -29F on separate dates, for the lowest
temperatures for the month.
Temp 63F at Fort Benton -29F at West Yellowstone and
Precip 9.10 inches at Black Bear /Gallatin County/
Wind Gust 96 mph at Logan Pass