Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Great Falls, MT

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NOUS45 KTFX 191610

1010 AM MDT SAT APR 19 2014

...Montana State Temperature and Precipitation Summary Changed...

With today`s issuance of the Montana Maximum/Minimum and
Precipitation Table (GTFRTPMT) issued by the Great Falls NWS office,
the method of summarizing the maximum and minimum temperatures has
changed. Previously, the summary information included just those
stations that were listed in each table. This posed problems with
cooperative stations that may have had their maximum or minimum
temperatures from the previous day carried forward. For example,
there were days on which the high temperature in the state stayed
below freezing, but an afternoon reporting station may have had a
temperature near 60 degrees at their observation time on the
previous day. Previously, this value would have been carried forward
and likely be reported at the state`s high temperature on the
following day.

In order to address this issue, we now use a technique that checks
other, nearby hourly reporting stations and compare them with the
observations in the table. Though a station may report a high
temperature that actually occurred on the previous day, the new
technique will reject this value and take a value from the table
that is more reasonable, considering the change in the weather
pattern. Additionally, the new technique will carry forward a higher
temperature reported from a previous message. For example, if
Powderville reported a high temperature of 76 degrees on a Tuesday
evening table, and the highest temperature listed in the Wednesday
morning table is 74 at Hardin, the summary information on the
Wednesday morning table would say that the 24-hour high temperature
was 76 at Powderville, even though Powderville is not listed in the
current table.
We will employ a similar method for low temperatures.

If anyone has questions about this new technique, please call the
NWS office in Great Falls at 406.453.2081. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.