the republic logo

Montana cold snap could break longstanding records, will linger into weekend

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

BILLINGS, Montana — A cold blast that swept into the Northern Plains from Canada was forecast to bring record-breaking temperatures to parts of Montana Wednesday morning, forecasters said.

The mercury could plunge to 12-below zero in Billings, rivaling a record set in 1986, said National Weather Service forecaster Dan Borsum.

Lows nearing 20 below zero in Butte, 12 below in Bozeman and 6 below in Great Falls were forecast.

That's a sharp change from temperatures that reached the upper 60s across parts of Montana over the weekend.

Behind the sudden drop was an exceptionally strong high-pressure system pumping in cold air from Canada. The system is expected to linger several more days and Borsum says temperatures will stay well below freezing into the weekend.

"It's going to be as high a pressure system as we've ever seen in the month of November, and we're going to be getting temperatures to follow suit," Borsum said.

PHOTO: Local resident Tim Castro clears a parking lot in Billings, Mont., Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. Forecasters said record low temperatures were possible Wednesday morning after a cold front dropped down from Canada. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)
Local resident Tim Castro clears a parking lot in Billings, Mont., Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. Forecasters said record low temperatures were possible Wednesday morning after a cold front dropped down from Canada. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown)

Snowfalls of two- to 10-inches were recorded in eastern Montana on Monday and Tuesday. The next chance for significant snowfall is on Friday.

In Billings, where temperatures were forecast to stay in the single digits until at least Thursday, Susan Messerly nearly escaped the cold blast until her flight to Phoenix for a work trip was cancelled Tuesday because of mechanical problems.

As she pulled her luggage through the snow back to her car, Messerly paused to tap on her phone to see what she was missing.

"It's five (degrees) here. It's going to be 82 in Phoenix. That's warm," she said with a laugh.

But Messerly expressed a fatalistic attitude about the dramatic difference from just a few days earlier, when the temperature hit 69 degrees in Billings.

"It's Montana. It wouldn't be Montana without the cold and snow," she said.

A visitor to the region from Oklahoma, Patsy Kimmel, said she'd been warned about the weather before arriving Tuesday to visit family in Joliet, Montana and celebrate her 70th birthday. Kimmel used to live in Montana but hadn't visited during the winter in 30 years.

"You know it's cold but you forget until that door opens and you go outside," she said.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Subjects:

Places:

 

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.