Friday, September 25, 2020
Stories abound about conditions changing quickly and in a pronounced way. Montana holds the national record for cold with a 70-degrees-below-zero reading near Helena. And if you research the recorded low for most Montana towns on any given day from early November through March, you will see they range from minus 10 to minus 50 or colder. Archives of every Montana newspaper hold facts that give credibility to our reputation as a place where winter isn’t wimpy!
Frigid times can come slowly while at other times the transition is abrupt. Take a look back to 1989: January witnessed a disastrous weeklong warm spell that tricked some trees into believing spring had arrived. Unsuspecting vegetation prepared to show new growth until suddenly winter reclaimed its place in a matter of hours with a vengeance. Much plant life was killed. An Arctic air mass invaded the Northern Rockies bringing record cold temperatures and extreme wind chills. Ahead of the front, on Jan. 30, downslope winds gusted to 100 mph at Shelby, 102 mph at Browning and 124 mph at Choteau. Twelve empty railroad cars were blown over in Shelby. Elsewhere, roofs were ripped off houses, mobile homes torn apart and trees and power lines downed.
Ok. Montana is officially too cold in the winter. Good to get that learnt I guess. It sure looks beautiful though.