Climatological Report (Annual)
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MTZ008>015-044>055-151800-

AREA ANNUAL CLIMATE SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
1215 PM MST TUE JAN 3 2017

This data is preliminary until certified by the National Centers
for Environmental Information.

...2016 WEATHER SUMMARY FOR NORTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MONTANA...

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE / NORMAL/ DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL
 Great Falls....46.5 / 44.6... +1.9...27th warmest year of record.
 Havre..........45.7 / 43.5... +2.2...13th warmest year of record.
 Helena.........47.8 / 45.3... +2.5... 5th warmest year of record.
 Bozeman........44.4 / 42.8... +1.6... 7th warmest year of record.
 Cut Bank.......43.7 / 42.1... +0.4...10th warmest year of record.
 Dillon.........44.6 / 42.8... +1.8... 6th warmest year of record.
 Lewistown......46.0 / 43.1... +2.9... 5th warmest year of record.
 W Yellowstone..36.5 / 34.4... +2.1...13th warmest year of record.

HIGHEST / LOWEST TEMPERATURES
 Great Falls.... 97 on 07/30          /  -26 on 12/16
 Havre.......... 97 on 07/22          /  -31 on 12/16
 Helena......... 99 on 07/22          /  -28 on 12/17
 Bozeman........ 98 on 07/22          /  -35 on 12/17
 Cut Bank....... 91 on 07/30          /  -28 on 12/17
 Dillon......... 93 on 07/19 07/21    /  -25 on 12/17
 Lewistown...... 94 on 07/22          /  -29 on 12/17
 W Yellowstone.. 88 on 06/28 07/22    /  -43 on 12/17

     PRECIPITATION / NORMAL / DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL / MOST IN 24 HRS
 Great Falls....14.45 / 14.75 /    -0.30 /        1.23 on 04/14-15
 Havre..........19.28 / 11.20 /    +8.08 /        2.04 on 04/14-15
 Helena.........10.15 / 11.22 /    -1.07 /        0.51 on 05/20-21
 Bozeman........13.22 / 14.10 /    -0.88 /        0.99 on 08/18-19
 Cut Bank.......12.23 / 10.85 /    +1.38 /        0.98 on 04/23-24
 Dillon......... 9.80 / 10.50 /    -0.70 /        0.70 on 06/15-16
 Lewistown......20.50 / 16.85 /    +3.65 /        2.09 on 07/10/11
 W Yellowstone..23.68 / 21.09 /    +2.59 /        0.60 on 07/10

Some temperature and precipitation highlights and ranking...
Bozeman...  2016 was the 7th warmest year...2015 ranked 3rd warmest.
            This was also the 32nd wettest year of record and the
    wettest since 2014. Snowfall ranked as the 6th lowest of
    record.
Cut Bank... This was the 45th wettest year of record, and the wettest
            since 2014. Snowfall was the 36th highest of record.
    This year had the lowest number of days with high
    temperatures below freezing since 2006.
    2016 had the lowest number of days of sub-freezing
    minimum temperatures since 1988.
Dillon...   2016 was the 6th warmest year of record.
            This was the 34th driest of record. Snowfall was the 2nd
    lowest of record.
Great Falls...2015 was the 57th driest of record, and the driest
              since 2013.
              For snowfall, this was the 14th lightest annual
      snowfall of record. It was the least amount of snow in
      a calendar year since 1987.
      This was the 12th wettest year of record, and the
      wettest since 1993.
      This year had the lowest number of days with high
      temperatures below freezing since 2006.
      2016 had the lowest number of sub-freezing minimum
      temperatures since 1986.
Havre.....This was the 3rd wettest year of record, and the wettest
          since 1916.
  There were 53 days with 0.10" or more in 2016. This is the
  greatest number of days since 1978.
          This was the 7th lowest snowfall amount for a year.
Helena....2016 was the 6th warmest year of record...2015 ranked 2nd
          warmest.
          This was the 42nd driest of record. This year ranked as
  the 12th lowest snowfall of record.
Lewistown..This was the 5th warmest year of record.
           This was also the 31st wettest of record, and the wettest
   since 2013.
   This year had the lowest number of days with high
   temperatures below freezing since 2004.
   2016 had the lowest number of sub-freezing minimum
   temperatures of record.
West Yellowstone...This was the 29th wettest year of record, and the
                   20th lowest annual snowfall.

SNOWFALL / DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL / MOST IN 24 HRS / MAX SNOW ON GRD
 Great Falls.. 34.0 /-29.1 /  6.9 on 03/15   /  6 inches on 12/16-17
 Havre.........21.6 /-16.8 /  5.5 on 10/09-10/  5 inches on 12/16-17
 Helena........28.8 / -9.3 /  8.5 on 12/12-13/ 10 inches on 12/13
 Bozeman.......27.6 /-12.6 /  4.0 on 12/15      8 inches on 12/17-18
 Cut Bank......40.5 / +3.6 /  7.2 on 12/24   /  7 inches on 01/17-18
 Dillon........14.5 /-26.9    4.4 on 12/24   /  5 inches on 01/09-11
 Lewistown.....               7.0 on 10/10   /  9 inches on 12/17
 Bozeman MSU.. 61.0 /-30.0 /  5.0 on 05/10   / 13 inches on 02/01-04
 W Yellowston.112.8 /-47.8 / 14.0 on 12/16   / 31 inches on 12/17


AVERAGE WIND / DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL / PEAK WIND /MPH/
 Great Falls....11.3 mph / -0.9 / 58 mph on 02/06...17th calmest yr
 Havre..........10.0 mph / +0.9 / 64 mph on 02/06...42nd windiest yr
 Helena......... 6.7 mph / -0.3 / 62 mph on 09/01...20th calmest yr
 Bozeman........ 5.7 mph / -0.2 / 65 mph on 04/04...15th calmeest yr
 Cut Bank.......12.6 mph / -0.1 / 65 mph on 10/14...28th windiest yr
 Dillon......... 9.2 mph / +0.3 / 65 mph on 04/04... 9th windiest yr
 Lewistown......12.1 mph / +1.8 / 59 mph on 12/19...30th windiest yr

LAST SPRING FROST / FIRST FALL FROST               freeze free
                       average            average   days   normal
 Great Falls....05/11   05/20   /  09/13   09/21    124     123
 Havre..........05/29   05/15   /  09/13   09/21    106     128
 Helena.........05/11   05/15   /  10/10   09/24    151     130
 Bozeman........05/22   06/02   /  09/25   09/11    125     101
 Cut Bank.......05/15   05/24   /  09/12   09/11    119     109
 Dillon.........05/14   06/02   /  09/25   09/13    133     102
 Lewistown......05/14   05/26   /  09/13   09/17    121     113
 W Yellowstone..07/25   06/24   /  08/01   07/22      9      15
                 done
DAYS OF MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE 90F OR HIGHER / 32F OR LOWER
                    average        average
 Great Falls.... 19    18    /  32   40
 Havre.......... 16    24    /  39   54
 Helena......... 34    24    /  34   41
 Bozeman........ 23    22    /  44   45
 Cut Bank.......  3     8    /  41   48
 Dillon......... 12     8    /  41   45
 Lewistown......  8    11    /  30   44

DAYS WITH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE 32F OR LOWER / 0F OR LOWER
                     average       average
 Great Falls.... 142   166   /  17   21
 Havre.......... 167   180   /  22   31
 Helena......... 146   167   /  15   18
 Bozeman........ 179   178   /  22   22
 Cut Bank....... 170   183   /  21   27
 Dillon......... 168   191   /  11   14
 Lewistown...... 154   181   /  14   21

Days with Precipitation
                                                      any
                =>0.01 nrm  =>0.10 nrm   =>0.50 nrm  snow  nrm
 Great Falls.... 100    99    42   40        9   4    61   69
 Havre.......... 105    84    53   33       12   4    46   55
 Helena.........  90    88    37   33        1   4    47   62
 Bozeman........ 103   102    45   44        5   4    39   66
 Cut Bank.......  85    77    39   26        5   4
 Dillon.........  76    80    31   29        5   4
 Lewistown...... 122   113    60   47       12   4

                     Monthly Average Temperature
     JAN   FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
BZN  19.3 31.3 38.1 46.5 50.5 63.3 67.1 64.2 54.8 46.7 38.7 13.3
CTB  22.6 36.8 37.5 45.7 49.1 60.0 64.1 62.5 53.2 41.7 40.5 11.7
DLN  21.9 33.3 37.2 46.3 49.7 62.5 65.4 63.9 54.6 46.1 39.7 15.5
GTF  27.3 38.2 39.6 46.4 51.2 62.6 67.1 65.4 55.6 46.4 44.2 14.3
HVR  19.7 34.9 39.6 47.6 53.0 63.7 69.0 67.3 57.0 42.3 41.1 14.3
HLN  23.9 37.9 40.2 49.8 53.6 66.5 70.9 68.0 58.2 48.2 41.9 15.0
LWT  26.8 36.0 39.1 46.5 51.2 63.7 66.6 65.3 54.7 45.1 42.4 14.9
WYS  16.4 20.7 25.5 38.2 44.1 56.2 56.8 55.4 48.2 38.7 29.2  7.9

                          Monthly Precipitation
     JAN   FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
BZN  0.36 0.23 0.96 0.84 2.51 1.17 1.61 1.11 1.10 2.45 0.42 0.46
CTB  0.44 0.04 0.27 1.91 2.19 1.16 1.46 1.17 1.26 1.07 0.26 1.00
DLN  0.05 0.03 0.51 1.13 1.68 1.12 0.89 0.12 1.48 2.22 0.27 0.30
GTF  0.62 0.03 0.50 2.83 2.04 0.96 1.20 1.12 2.22 1.76 0.28 0.89
HVR  0.36 0.10 0.40 3.55 3.48 1.93 2.43 1.24 1.80 3.52    T 0.47
HLN  0.31 0.16 .019 1.01 1.45 1.38 0.78 0.92 0.97 1.68 0.02 1.28
LWT  0.67 0.72 0.81 1.51 3.98 0.76 3.41 1.76 2.41 4.01 0.06 0.33
WYS  1.67 0.78 1.75 1.31 2.11 0.32 1.50 0.30 2.46 6.58 1.56 3.89

                          Monthly Snowfall
     JAN   FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
MSU  9.6   1.9 11.6  2.6  5.5    0    0    0    0  6.4  2.7 22.5
CTB    T   1.0  4.1  1.0    0    0    0    0    0  5.8  6.0 14.5
DLN    T     0  1.0    T    0    0    0    0    0  1.0    T 12.5
GTF  6.4   0.1  1.8  7.2    T    0    0    0    0  1.5  1.2 15.8
HVR  5.4   0.5    0  3.0    0    0    0    0    0  5.5    T  7.2
HLN  3.7     0    0    0    0    0    0    0    0  1.0  0.3 23.8
WYS 23.3   5.3 14.0  1.5    T    0    0    0    0    0 16.9 51.8



MILESTONES REACHED DURING 2016...
BOZEMAN...
 Jan...Average wind speed of 3.7 mph was the third lowest of record.
 Feb...Only a trace of snow fell during the month, tying for the
       lowest of record. Average is 4.9 inches.
 Mar...Snowfall of 2.1 inches was the 5th lowest of record. Average
       is 7.7 inches.
 Apr...Average temperature of 46.5F was the 4th warmest of record,
       and the warmest since 1985. Average is 42.7F.
 Jun...Average temperature of 63.3F was the 4th warmest of record,
       and the warmest since 2015. Average is 59.1F.
 Oct...Precipitation of 2.45 inches was the 6th highest of record,
       and the wettest since 2006. Average is 1.10".
 Nov...Average temperature of 38.1F was the 4th warmest of record,
       and the warmest since 2008. Average is 29.7F.
       Average wind speed of 4.1 mph was the 4th lowest of record,
       and the lowest since 2004. Average is 4.9 mph.
 Spring (Mar-May)...Snowfall of 2.1 inches was the lowest since
       2012 and the 2nd lowest of record.

CUT BANK...
 Feb...Average temperature of 36.8 degrees was the warmest of record.
       Average is 24.2F.
       Precipitation of 0.04 inches was the third lowest of record,
       and the lowest since 2005. Average is 0.21 inches.
       Snowfall of a trace was the second lowest of record and the
       lowest since 1926. Average is 4.8 inches.
 Spring (Mar-May)...Average temperature of 44.1F was the fourth
       warmest of record, and the warmest since 1992. Average is 40.8F.

DILLON...
 Jan...Snowfall of a trace tied for the lowest of record. Average
       is 5 inches.
 Feb...Precipitation of 0.03 inches was the fourth lowest of record,
       and the lowest since 2011. Average is 0.32 inches.
       No snow fell in February. This was the least of record.
       Average is 3.6 inches.
 Mar...Snowfall of 1 inch tied for the 4th lowest of record. Average
       is 9 inches.
 Apr...Average temperature of 46.3F was the fourth warmest of record,
       and the warmest since 1987. Average is 41.6F.
 Oct...Precipitation of 2.22 inches was the 2nd highest of record,
       and the wettest since 2000. Average is 0.69".
 Nov...Average temperature of 39.2F was the fourth warmest of record,
       and the warmest since 1999. Average is 30.5F.
       Average wind speed of 7.7 mph tied with 2000 for the lowest
       of record. Average is 9.2 mph.
       Only a trace of snow fell. This tied for the second lowest of
       record. Average is 4.9 inches.
 Dec...Average temperature of 15.5F was the 5th coolest of record,
       and the coolest since 2009. Average is 20.8F.
 Spring (Mar-May)...Snowfall of 1 inch tied for the 2nd lowest of
      record. Average is 18.6 inches.
 Fall (Sep-Nov)...Average temperature of 46.6 degrees was the 5th
       warmest of record, and the warmest since 1990. Average is
       43.0F.
       Precipitation of 3.97 inches was the 2nd wettest of record,
       and the wettest since 1940. Average is 1.92".
       Snowfall of 1 inch tied for the 3rd lowest of record.
       Average is 10.1 inches.

GREAT FALLS...
 Feb...Average temperature of 38.2F was the fourth warmest of record,
       and the warmest since 1991. Average is 27.3F.
       Precipitation of 0.03 inches was the second lowest of record,
       and the lowest since 2005. Average is 0.47 inches.
       Snowfall of 0.1 inch was the second lowest of record, and the
       lowest since 1931. Average is 8.3 inches.

The first frost of the fall on September 13 was the coldest first
freezing temperature of the season since 2004.
The last below zero reading of the winter of 2015-16 occurred on
January 9. This was the earliest last winter below zero value of
record. The previous record was set on January 15, 1953. The average
for this event is March 3.
The last freezing high temperature in the early part of the year
occurred on January 17. This is the earliest on record that the last
freezing high temperature occurred. The old record was February 12
set in 1946. The average for this event is March 29.

HAVRE...
 Feb...Average temperature of 34.9F was the fifth warmest of record,
       and the warmest since 1991. Average is 22.2F.
       Snowfall of 0.5 inch was the fourth lowest of record, and the
       lowest since 2005. Average is 5.8 inches.
 Mar...Snowfall of a trace was the second lowest of record, and the
       lowest since 2007. Average is 6.3 inches.
 Apr...Precipitation of 3.55 inches was the second highest of record,
       and the highest since 1555. Average is 0.84 inches.
 Oct...Precipitation of 3.52 inches was the highest of record,
       Average is 0.58 inches.
 Nov...Precipitation of a trace tied for the second lowest of record,
       and the lowest since 2009. Average is 0.43 inches.
       Snowfall of a trace was the 2nd lowest of recrod, and the
       lowest since 2009. Average is 5.3 inches.
 Dec...Average wind speed of 14.0 mph was the 2nd windiest of record,
       and the windiest since 1978. Average is 9.5 mph.
The last freezing high temperature in the early part of the year
occurred on January 18. This is the earliest on record that the last
freezing high temperature occurred. The old record was February 12
set in 1946. The average for this event is March 27.

 Spring (Mar-May)...Precipitation of 7.43 inches was the second highest
       of record and the highest since 1927. Average is 3.12 inches.
 Fall (Sep-Nov)...Precipitation of 5.32 inches was the 4th highest
       of record and the highest since 1986. Average is 2.13 inches.

HELENA...
 Jan...Average wind speed of 4.1 mph was the fourth lowest of record.
 Feb...Average temperature of 37.9F was the warmest of record.
       Average is 27.7F.
       Snowfall of a trace was the second lowest of record.
       Average is 5.0 inches.
 Mar...Snowfall of a trace was the second lowest of record.
       Average is 6.2 inches.
 Jun...Average temperature of 66.5F was the fourth warmest of record,
       and the warmest since 2015. Average is 62.1.
 Nov...Average temperature of 41.4F was the warmest of record,
       Average is 32.5.
       Precipitation of a 0.02 inches was the second lowest of record,
       and the lowest since 1928. Average is 0.49 inches.
       Snowfall of 0.3 inches was the 4th lowest of recrod, and the
       lowest since 2008. Average is 4.7 inches.
       Average wind speed of 4.7 mph was the 6th lowest of record,
       and the lowest since 2013. Average is 6.4 mph.
 Dec...Snowfall of 23.8 inches was the 6th highest of record, and
       the highest since 1929. Average is 7.3 inches.
 Spring (Mar-May)...The average temperature of 47.9F is the 6th
       warmest of record. Average is 45.1F.
       Snowfall of a trace tied for the lowest of record. Average is
       10.8 inches.
 Fall (Sep-Nov)...The average temperature of 49.2F is the 3rd warmest
       of record, and the warmest since 2000. Average is 45.3F.

LEWISTOWN...
 Feb...Average temperature of 36.0 degrees was the third warmest of
       record, and the warmest since 1991. Average is 25.7F.
 Oct...Precipitation of 4.01 inches was the highestof record.
       Average is 1.13 inches.
 Nov...Average temperature of 41.8F was the 5th warmest of record,
       and the warmest since 1999. Average is 32.0.
       Precipitation of 0.06 inches was the 4th driest of record,
       and the driest since 1928. Average is 0.71 inches.
       No snow fell. The last occurrence with no snow was in 2002.
       Average is 4.9 inches.

 Spring (Mar-May)...Average temperature of 45.8 degrees was the
       fourth warmest of record, and the warmest since 1992. Average
       is 41.4.
 Fall (Sep-Nov)...Precipitation of 6.48 inches was the 4th highest
       of record and the highest since 1946. Average is 3.19 inches.

WEST YELLOWSTONE...
 Feb...Snowfall of a 5.3 inches was the third lowest of record, and the
       lowest since 2015. Average is 25.8 inches.
 Apr...Snowfall of a 1.5 inches was the 5th lowest of record, and the
       lowest since 2015. Average is 12.4 inches.


 Fall (Sep-Nov)...Precipitation of 10.60 inches was the wettest
       of record. Average is 4.67 inches.


                             NEW RECORD
            TEMPERATURE warm|       DAILY WIND        DAILY
            HIGHS  LOWS lows| HIGH AVG LOW AVG  GUST   PRECIP
Bozeman        5    1    4      6        4      15      3
Cut Bank       3    1    0      2        6       8      3
Dillon         6    1    8      2        4      11      2
Great Falls    2    2    1      0        7       2      1
Havre          4    1    2      6        7      14      4
Helena         3    0    2      6        6       8      2
Lewistown      8    0    5      2        0      15      3
W Yellowstone  1    0    0                              0


The following is a summary of significant weather events and patterns
during the year...

2016...
JANUARY...
A large ridge of high pressure to the west of the state brought
mostly above normal temperatures and near to below normal
precipitation. Southwest valleys were colder than normal due to cold
air trapped in valleys.
Mild temperatures with precipitation brought rain to central Montana
on the 14th. Great Falls recorded 0.12", which is their greatest
one-day January rainfall since 2001. Snowfall was generally light.
Dillon measured only a trace.
Winds were on the light side.

          High                       Low
Temp      62F at Fort Benton  28th   -28F at Whiskey Creek   2nd
Precip    1.80 inches at Hebgen Dam, and 5.30" at Black Bear SNOTEL
Wind Gust   85 mph at Deep Creek RAWS  26th
########

FEBRUARY...
Temperatures continued above normal in February, with much below
precipitation. Havre`s temperatures were above normal for the entire
month. Cut Bank and Helena recorded their warmest February of
record, while Great Falls and Lewistown saw their third warmest. On
16 days, the temperature rose to 50F or higher at Great Falls, which
tied three other years for the most for the month. Choteau reached
73F on the 9th. This was not only a daily, but a statewide daily
record high. This was also the warmest February day in Montana since
2006. Additionally, many locations did not record a low temperature
below zero for the month. This is not uncommon.

Precipitation was below normal. A small area of above normal
precipitation was centered in the Lewistown area. Cut Bank, Great
Falls and Havre recorded their driest February since 2005.
It was a windy month, with most areas having above normal wind
averages. Dillon recorded a gust of 59 mph on the 15th, their second
highest gust of record for February. On the 6th, winds gusted to 68
mph at Great Falls, their highest February gust since 2002.

          High                      Low
Temp      73F at Choteau   9th     -26F at Whiskey Creek    2nd
                                           West Yellowstone
Precip    5.60 inches at Many Glacier
Wind Gust 98 mph at Logan Pass  6th
########

MARCH...
A weak ridge of high pressure dominated the weather in March,
bringing warm and dry flow to much of the state. Temperatures were
near to well above normal. At Havre, a 55-day streak of above normal
temperatures ended on the 17th, their second longest streak of
record. Temperature averages were above normal, ranging from 0.9F at
YellowMule RAWS to 8.9F at Turner.

Precipitation was mostly below normal, except over parts of
southwest Montana. Helena had their 10th driest March of record.
Snowfall was also below normal.

Winds were stronger than normal. The highest gust was on the 6th,
when Deep Creek reached 77 mph. Another windy period on the 10th
produced gusts to 72 mph at Browning.

The coolest period of the month was from the 16th through 19th. Most
of the area saw their coolest temperatures since January 17. On the
17th, the first measurable snow in 44 days fell at Great Falls. This
is the longest such period during the winter since 1983.

          High                      Low
Temp      73F at Fort Benton 20th  -20F at Whiskey Creek  19th
Precip    2.92 inches at St Mary   7.20 inches at Black Bear SNOTEL
Wind Gust 77 mph at Deep Creek RAWS  6th
########

APRIL...
An upper level ridge along the west cost continued to dominate the
weather across the state, bringing northwest flow. Temperatures were
above normal, with variable amounts of precipitation. Over much of
the southwest, this was the warmest April since 1987. The lowest
temperature of 24F at Great Falls was the warmest such April monthly
temperature since 1998.

Although most areas had below normal precipitation, Havre had their
second wettest April of record, and their wettest since 1955.
Snowfall was on the light side, with many areas recording a trace.

Thunderstorms on the 4th caused gusts to 65 mph at Bozeman, tying
their highest gust of record for April. Heavy snow fell over the
central Rockies on the 15th and 16th, with nearly 20 inches of snow
reported at Mt Lockhart. Great Falls picked up nearly 7-inches of
snow. Meanwhile, rain fell over the hi-line, dropping up to and
around 2-inches from Kremlin through Blaine County.

          High                         Low
Temp      83F at Grass Range  22nd     1F at Elk Park      16th
Precip    4.35 inches at Ft Belknap   4.90 inches at Rocky Boy
Wind Gust 82 mph at Deep Creek RAWS  6th
########

MAY...
General westerly flow aloft prevailed, which is normal for May.
Temperatures were near normal. Precipitation was mostly above
normal, with the wettest area in central Montana.
northern Montana and above normal in the southwest. Winds were below
normal. Helena had their second calmenst May of record.

          High                        Low
Temp      88F at Loma     4th         2F at Tizer Gardens  12th
Precip    5.61 inches near Lewistown 7.60 at Crystal Lake
Wind Gust 63 mph at Deep Creek RAWS  22bd
########

JUNE...
Under a high pressure ridge, June was warm and dry across the area.
Temperatures were above normal for the first 10 days, with record
high temperatures reported on the 6th and 8th. Helena had their 4th
warmest June of record. Severe thunderstorms
brought large hail and strong gusts to Roy and Great Falls on the
10th. Hail to 2.5 inches was recorded at Roy. These thunderstorms
also produced some damage with 116 mph winds. This is the third
highest June gust of record, and the highest June gust since 1995.

This was the second driest June of record at Lewistown, and the
driest of record at West Yellowstone. Thunderstorms brought good
rain amounts to northern Hill and Blaine Counties. Winds were near
to above normal.

Early in the morning of the 11th, a rare hailstorm moved through
Great Falls producing golf-ball size hail.

          High                      Low
Temp      95F at Loma, Bozeman &    20F at Elk Park  20th
                 Rudyard  8th & 20th
Precip    3.69 inches at Simpson   4.60 inches at Badger Pass
Wind Gust 75 mph at Two Medicine  19th
          116 mph near Roy   10th
########

JULY...
With a strong ridge of high pressure over the central US, this had
an influence on eastern Montana, but a strong trough of low pressure
was over the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures were mostly below
normal and precipitation as well. Below normal temperature prevailed
during the first half of July, with above normal the rest of the
month. The low temperature of 22F at Elk Park is the areas coolest
July temperature since 2006. On the 10th, cool temperatures
prevailed. Heavy rain fell at
Lewistown, while a tornado was sighted near Dillon. Little severe
weather occurred during the month, but a thunderstorm on the 19th
produced gusts to 78 mph north of Havre.
Winds were stronger than normal.

          High                      Low
Temp      99F at Helena, Loma &     22F at Elk Park    7th
                 Chinook   22nd
Precip    4.20 inches near Hogeland
Wind Gust 78 mph near Havre  19th
########

AUGUST...
Westerly flow aloft prevailed. Temperatures were slightly below normal.
The cooler conditions produced the coolest August since 2010. This was
the first summer since 1982 where the areas highest temperature
remained below 100F. Precipitation was a mix. While above normal amounts
were across central Montana and the northern Rockies, the southwest was
dry. Dillon recorded their 4th driest August and their driest August
since 2001. Flash flooding occurred in Great Falls when a thunderstorm
produced heavy rain in the city on the 9th. Over two-inches fell in a
short time. Further, Great Falls also experienced 3 hail storm with
golf-ball or larger hail this summer. All three were nocturnal events.
In the climatological record, this has never before occurred at Great
Falls. Severe thunderstorms also brought damaging hail and flooding to
the Townsend area on the 7th. Winds were a bit higher than normal this
month. Havre had their windiest August since 2000. Strong winds behind
a cold front caused gusts to 74 mph at Two Medicine, their highest
August gust of record.

          High                      Low
Temp      99F at Lewistown 31st     20F at Elk Park   25th
Precip   3.54 inches Great Falls City
Wind Gust  74 mph at Two Medicine 22nd
########

SEPTEMBER...
The westerly flow aloft continued in September. Temperatures were
slightly below normal with generally above normal precipitation.
The first frost occurred at several locations in north central Montana
on the 13th. This was about 10 days ahead of the average.
The wettest area was over Judith Basin and portions of Blaine and Fergus
Counties. While Many Glacier was the wettest, rainfall amounts
of 4.5 inches or more were reported over these other wet areas.
Winds were somewhat above normal. Some spots had their strongest
September average since 2000. Thunderstorms moving through the Helena
area on the 1st produced gusts to 62 mph. This was their strongest
September gust since 1999, and their second highest September gust
of record.

          High                     Low
Temp      99F at Loma    1st       16F at Gates Park    16th
Precip    4.90 inches at Many Glacier
Wind Gust  65 mph at Deep Creek RAWS  17th
########

OCTOBER...
Westerly flow aloft continued in October. This pattern produced above
normal precipitation, with mostly above normal temperatures. A cold
front pushed through the area on the 1st causing gusts to 71 mph
near Denton. A rainy period from the 2nd-6th brought rain amounts to
nearly 5 inches over eastern Fergus County. Up to 6 inches of snow
fell in the Bears Paws and 7 inches in the Little Belts. Snowfall on
the 10th and 11th brought amounts to 18 inches at Heart Butte, 15
inches at East Glacier and 10 inches at Simpson. The low temperature
of -5F at Simpson on the 12th was the earliest seasonal sub-zero
value in the area since 2012, and well ahead of the average of
October 31.
Heavy precipitation during the month produced the second wettest
October at Many Glacier. West Yellowstone measured 6.58 inches, their
wettest October of record. Locations establishing new all-time
October precipitation records included West Yellowstone, Havre,
Lewistown and Grass Range.

          High                      Low
Temp      84F at Armells Ck  1st    -5F at Simpson   12th
Precip   11.90 inches at Many Glacier
Wind Gust  84 mph at Deep Creek RAWS  14th
########

NOVEMBER...
During November, a broad ridge of high pressure dominated producing
above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. Nearly all
days of the month averaged above normal. Several locations had their
warmest November since 1954. Helena set an all-time high monthly
average, exceeding their old record set in 1904.
Precipitation was light. Havre had only a trace, while Helena
measured 0.02". This was the second driest November of record at
these locations. The wettest spot was Many Glacier with 4.30 inches.
Snowfall was generally light as well. However, Cut Bank picked up
6-inches, one-inch above their monthly normal.
Winds were lower than normal. This was the calmest November of
record at Dillon, and the lowest area average wind speed since
1982.

          High                        Low
Temp      78F at Loma   9th           -13F at West Yellowstone  18th
Precip    4.30 inches at Many Glacier
Wind Gust  76 mph at Two Medicine  14th
########

DECEMBER...
Aloft, a deeper trough than normal set-up over central Canada. This
provided general northwest flow to the area. Although temperatures
started out above normal, there was a two-week period with below, to
well below normal temperatures starting on the 4th. Average
temperature departures were from 3 to 12 degrees below normal.
Overall, this was the coolest December since 2009 and the 8th
coolest overall. The coldest temperature since February 2014 was
also recorded at Elk Park. The month`s highest temperature of 52F
was the coolest warm temperature since 1978.
Precipitation was generally above normal. Several locations from
central to southwest Montana had twice their normal precipitation
for the month. Much of this came in the form of snow. Helena
measured their 6th snowiest December of record, with nearly
two-feet.
There were several windy periods during the month. The period from
mid-month to the end was especially windy. The highest gust of the
month occurred on the 19th. Several spots across central Montana
recorded gusts over 70 mph.

          High                      Low
Temp      52F at Fort Benton 22nd  -48F at Elk Park   17th
                 and Loma
Precip   10.50 inches at Black Bear SNOTEL  3.89-in at W Yellowstone
Wind Gust   86 mph at Deep Creek RAWS  19

$$
&&

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