Hill Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 1:29 PM MST on March 2, 2015

... February 2015 and winter seasonal weather summary for north
central and southwest Montana...

Average temperatures for February were above normal for the area.
After a cool start, temperatures were as much as 30 degrees above
normal by the sixth, then generally remained above normal through
the 20th. The month ended with a period of below normal conditions.
Average February temperatures were as much as 12 degrees above
normal in the Big Hole valley. Portions of central Blaine County
averaged just below normal. The warmest temeprature was 68f at Grass
Range and Fort Benton on the 6th, and at Loma on the 13th. The
coolest temperature was -29 at Elk Park on the 24th. The warmest
average monthly temperature was 38.1f at Whitehall, while fort
Belknap measured 20.3f, for the coolest average.

The southwest was especially warm. Dillon and West Yellowstone
recorded their 5th warmest February, and their warmest since 1992.
Bozeman had their 7th warmest and warmest since 1992. The water year
has been warm as well. Dillon has had their 3rd warmest water year
and thir warmest since 2000. West Yellowstone has seen their 5th
warmest, and the warmest in 62 years, since 1953.

For the past winter season, temperatures averaged above normal, up to
6.5 degrees in the southwest. All months (dec-feb) averaged above
normal. Following is a table showing sites across the southwest and
their winter temperature averages. Other location's rankings are
listed in a table later in this report.

City rank of this winter
Bozeman 5th warmest warmest since 1999-2000
Dillon 2nd warmest warmest since 1980-81
Helena 11th warmest warmest since 2005-06
W Yellowstone 3rd warmest warmest since 1981-82

in general, precipitation was below normal. Areas of above normal
precipitation stretched from the Rocky Mountains west of Choteau,
through the little belts, then northeast through Chouteau and Fergus
counties. The highest precipitation value was 5.60 inches at many
Glacier. Bozeman ranked 5th driest, recording only 0.15 inches.

Winter seasonal precipitation was generally higher than normal most
areas. There was a small area over the southwest with below average
precipitation. Cut Bank had their wettest winter season since
1997-98, while Lewistown had their wettest since the 2000-01 season.

Snowfall was on the light side across the region. West Yellowstone
measured only 4 inches for the month. This is their lowest total for
February on record. The previous low for February was 4.6 inches in
1977.

For the water year of October through February, most areas
have seen above normal snowfall. West Yellowstone has had less than
normal. After a snowy December and January, Great Falls and Cut Bank
still rank among the top 10 snowiest for this period. West
Yellowstone has had their lowest snowfall since 1986-87.

Wind speeds averaged above normal across the region. At
Bozeman, it was the 6th windiest, and their windiest February since
1999. Across the region, the strongest wind average at lower
elevations was 13.8 mph at Sweet Grass, while Deep Creek RAWS had an
average speed of 18.9 mph. The strongest area gust was 78 mph at
Heart Butte on the 6th.Cut Bank recorded a gust to 75 mph on the
6th. This was their strongest February gust since 2011.

For the winter season (dec-feb), wind conditions were generally near
normal. Normal.

For additional information refer to the monthly Montana weather and
climate summary:
www.Wrh.NOAA.Gov/tfx/cliamte/droughtsum/pdfs/montanawx_2015_02.Pdf
and the
ncdc state of the climate report: www.Ncdc.NOAA.Gov/sotc

Average temperature... degrees fahrenheit...
             Feb norm rank Dec-Feb norm
Bozeman... ... 32.2..24.7... 7th warmest 26.5... 21.6... 5th warmest
Cut Bank... ..27.3..24.2... 28th warmest 25.3... 22.8... 27th warmest
Dillon... ... .33.5..26.2... 5th warmest 30.0... 23.2... 2nd warmest
Great Falls..31.0..27.3... 33rd warmest 28.8... 25.8... 25th warmest
Havre... ... ..24.8..22.2... 32nd warmest 23.4... 19.8... 22nd warmest
Helena... ... .34.3..27.7... 12th warmest 28.3... 24.2... 11th warmest
Lewistown... .30.1..25.7... 26th warmest 28.4... 24.2... 13th warmest
W yellowston.22.6..15.2... 5th warmest 19.1... 12.7... 3rd warmest

Precipitation... inches...
              Feb norm Dec-Feb norm
Bozeman... ... .0.15..0.45... 5th driest 0.96... .1.47... 16th driest
Cut Bank... ... 0.15..0.21... 32nd driest 1.59... .0.61... 17th wettest
Dillon... ... ..0.19..0.24... 34th wettest 0.67... .0.76... 36th driest
Great Falls... 0.38..0.47... 46th driest 2.49... .1.53... 29th wettest
Havre... ... ... 0.33..0.28... 64th driest 1.97... .1.01... 33rd wettest
Helena... ... ..0.38..0.30... 66th driest 1.83... .1.06... 53rd wettest
Lewistown... ..0.69..0.44... 46th wettest 2.26... .1.67... 50th wettest
W Yellowstone.0.73..1.58... 15th driest 4.08... .6.11... 19th driest

Snowfall... inches...
               Feb norm Oct-Feb norm
Bozeman... ... . 1.9.. 4.9... 14th lowest 29.6... .22.2... 27th highest
Bozeman msu... 3.5..11.5... 16th lowest 56.6... .39.0... 54th highest
Cut Bank... ... 4.0.. 4.8... 45th lowest 46.9... .23.0... 4th highest
Dillon... ... .. 1.0.. 3.6... 17th lowest 21.1... .21.6... 41st lowest
Great Falls... 5.8.. 8.3... 56th lowest 56.3... .25.8... 8th highest
Havre... ... ... 5.2.. 5.8... 65th highest 20.6... .19.8... 38th lowest
Helena... ... .. 1.7.. 5.0... 19th lowest 23.8... .18.5... 19th lowest
W Yellowstone. 4.0..25.8... lowest 69.5... .93.2... 12th lowest

        end of Feb snow on ground normal no snow on last day
Bozeman msu 1 5.7 1 of every 4 years
Cut Bank T 1.2 3 of every 5 years
Dillon 0 3.3 2 of every 5 years
Great Falls T 1.2 every other year
Havre 0 2.4 3 of every 10 years
Helena T 0.7 every other year
Lewistown 4 1.8 3 of every 10 years
W Yellowstone 23 34.9 rare

Average wind speed... mph...
              Feb norm rank Dec-Feb norm rank
Bozeman... ... .5.8... .4.8... 20th windiest 4.7... . 4.6... 11th calmest
Cut Bank... ..13.0... 12.8... 29th calmest 13.4... .13.4... 21st calmest
Dillon... ... . 9.8... 9.5... 31st windiest 9.6... . 9.5... 23rd calmest
Great Falls..11.1... 13.0... 21st calmest 12.2... .14.0... 12th calmest
Havre... ... .. 9.8... 9.4... 36th windiest 10.1... . 9.9... 36th windiest
Helena... ... . 6.3... .5.8... 35th calmest 5.5... . 5.5... 13th calmest
Lewistown... . 9.9... 8.9 ..28th calmest 9.3... .10.0... 16th calmest
W yellowston. M M

Temperature and precipitation records for Bozeman began in
1935, Cut Bank began in 1903, Dillon began in 1939, Great Falls
began in 1891, Havre and Helena began in 1880, Lewistown began in
1896, and West Yellowstone began in 1905. Wind records at Bozeman
and Dillon began in 1948, Cut Bank and Lewistown in 1938, Great
Falls in 1939, Havre in 1889, Helena in 1880 and West Yellowstone in
2010. The normal period for all elements is 1981 to 2010.

These data are preliminary and have not undergone final qc by ncdc.
Therefore these data are subject to revision. Final and certified
climate data can be accessed at the National climatic data center.


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