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Entries in Montana weather (79)


July a pretty average weather month in Western MT

(MISSOULA)- After we struggled through the first half of the year complaining about the seemingly never-ending winter, July finally gave us a month that was much closer to normal in Western Montana.

July finally saw a return to a more typical mid-summer weather pattern for Missoula and the surrounding counties, with the rains of May and June finally coming to an end and temperatures climbing more consistently into the 90s. (NWS graphic)

The National Weather Service says we did manage to stay out of the triple digit temperatures, with the maximum temp hitting 98-degrees on July 18th. That’s a far cry from July of 2007 when we set the all-time heat record in Missoula at 107 degrees, with 7-days above the century mark. Missoula had a total of 8-days above 90.

Kalispell’s hottest day was 92-degrees, with the average maximum temperature for the day just under 80-degrees.

However, July wasn’t entirely perfect. The cold weather had continued into 4th of July week, with a minimum low of 39-degrees.

Precipitation was close to average, with just over 6-tenths of an inch of rain, a third of which fell in a single storm on July 13th and 14th.

However, overall the Northwest as a whole continued to be colder than normal for the first part of summer. Western Montana and most of Idaho had below normal temps for July. Much of extreme Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington was far below normal for July. Southwest and Central Montana was “near normal.”


The 90s rule!

(MISSOULA)- It may sound like a VH-1 show that gets played over and over, but “I Love the 90s” was certainly the weather theme of the day across Montana.

By the time the sun went down Saturday, the map was full of plus-90 degree high temperatures for the day. And although the clouds took some of the shine off the day for some, it was still a spectacular version of summer.

West of the Divide, the Lower Clark Fork country had the highest readings. Plains hit a sizzling 98-degrees, Thompson Falls managed 96, and St. Regis sizzled at 97.

In the Kootenai, Libby checked in with 94 and Troy hit an official high of 95. To the north, Eureka registered a 93.

The Flathead kept its cool, relatively speaking, with an official high in Kalispell of 88, although many places in the valley showed readings in the low 90s. In the Mission Valley, Swan Valley and Little Bitterroot valleys, temperatures all climbed into the low 90s as well. Hot Springs lived up to its name with a high of 94.

Elsewhere, Missoula hit an official high at the airport of 90 while Stevensville hit the highest note in the Bitterroot at 91.

Clouds and showers took off some of the edge in SW Montana, although Ennis still managed a high of 94 with Three Forks at 97 and Bozeman at 95. Great Falls took the hot spot award at 100 degrees, with Billings at 93. Temperatures east of the Divide were generally in the 80s and 90s.


Blazing weekend ahead for Big Sky

(MISSOULA)- Mom Nature seems to want to make up for lost time, or at least repent for allowing the first half of summer to slip by.

Friday brought another warm and glorious day across Montana, pushing temperatures into the upper 80s and low 90s west of the Divide, and topping the century mark in a few spots in Eastern Montana.

West of the Divide, most highs Friday evening didn't break 90, although Stevensville managed to hit the mark for the warmest place on the Pacific side of the state.

In Southwest Montana, Twin Bridges and Ennis both hit 90, with Whitehall peaking at 93. Three Forks set the pace for the Gallatin, and was one of the warmest in the state at 98-degrees.

In Central Montana, Helena's thermometer hit 91 and it was 92-degrees in Great Falls.

90-plus readings were common everywhere in Eastern Montana, with Joliet taking Friday's Frying Pan award at 103.

The forecast calls for more of the same, and perhaps even warmer on Saturday and Sunday. west of the Divide temps should all be in the low 90s except for a few areas closest to water and 90s and 100s east of the Divide. A threat of showers might break the heat Sunday evening in the west.


Incoming system bringing thunderstorms this afternoon

(MISSOULA)- Get ready for some weather rock ‘n roll over Northwest Montana this afternoon.

The National Weather Service is warning that moist, unstable air pushing ahead of an incoming weather system is likely to create some strong thunderstorms over Northwest Montana and south along the mountains of the Continental Divide this afternoon.

After a spectacular weekend of clear, hot weather, clouds have already started to push across Northern Idaho and Western Montana this morning in advance of the system.

NWS says the incoming system will produce some scattered thunderstorms with strong winds and small hail for the Lower Clark Fork Valley region, Libby and the Kootenai and the Flathead and Mission Valleys. Additional storms are possible in the Upper Blackfoot and as far south as Butte.

Central Idaho, the Bitterroot, Missoula and Bighole Valleys will see isolated thunderstorms. However, strong gusty winds are expected to push across the Lemhi Valley and the mountains of the Southern Bitterroot Range, with gusty winds up to 35-miles per hour for Dillion and the southwest corner of the state.

With rain coming in behind that initial push of air, forecasters say construction and agricultural projects should prepare for the incoming moisture.

Temperatures may still push into the 90-degree range on Monday, but cool into the 80s for the remainder of the week because of the incoming system.

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