The pic. above from the Montana DOT was taken in late September in the midst of the amazing early-season snowstorm in Western Montana. Up to 4 FEET of snow was reported.
Cut Bank, Montana struggled above freezing today (Thu.) to a high of 35°. This was the first time they’ve been above freezing in six days. Their average high temperature for today is 61°. They started the day with 9″ of snow on the ground.
The last 6 days in Cut Bank, Montana have been 27 degrees colder than average. The 72 hours from Sept. 30-Oct. 2 was 32 degrees colder than average. Oct. 1 and 2, the high temperatures were in the mid 20s, 35° below average! Wed. the low temp. was +8 and Tue. it was +1. Both of those were record lows. They started on 9/28 (Sat.) with an inch of snow on the ground in the early AM. By Sun. AM they had 9″ on the ground and Mon. AM it was up to 18″. The first two days of the storm were very windy, with an average wind speed of 22 mph on Sat. and 25.5 mph on Sun.
There’s more snow and cold on the way for W. Montana – with snow likely from late Thurs. night to Sat. AM.
Cut Bank had the coldest month relative to average that I have ever seen last February, when their AVERAGE temperature for the entire month was 28.0 deg. colder than average! The average low temperature for the month was -13.2°. They went 12 days from Feb. 3-14 without getting above zero. March was 7.8° below average. It was very hard on livestock and wild animals and residents had to pay some pretty high heating bills.
Odds favor a colder than average fall/winter from the Northern Rockies to the Great Lakes.