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Montana, Southern Rocky Mountain Front

Record Report

Statement as of 9:31 PM EDT on March 31, 2015

...Record Warm Maximum Temperatures For Mar 31 In North Central
&Nbsp;&Nbsp;&Nbsp;And Southwest Montana...


Location new record old record year set records began
Bozeman msu 74 73 2004 1892
Belgrade field 74 74 2004 1935
Dillon Airport 73 70 2012 1929
Grass Range 76 74 2012 1914
Great Falls 76 71 2012 1886
Helena 75 71 2012 1866
Havre 78 75 1976 1880
Lewistown 75 72 1906 1896
Turner 74 73 2004 1948
Townsend 77 73 2012 1948


Public Information Statement

Statement as of 8:40 AM MDT on April 01, 2015


... March 2015 and Jan-Mar seasonal weather summary for north central
and southwest Montana...

Average temperature... degrees fahrenheit...
             Mar norm rank Jan-Mar norm rank
Bozeman... ... 40.4..34.1... 3rd warmest 32.3... .26.6... 2nd warmest
Cut Bank... ..39.8..31.5... 2nd warmest 30.7... .25.9... 4th warmest
Dillon... ... .41.5..34.3... 2nd warmest 34.6... .27.7... 1st warmest
Great Falls..43.6..34.2... 2nd warmest 33.8... .28.9... 10th warmest
Havre... ... ..41.2..32.8... 3rd warmest 29.0... .24.3... 13th warmest
Helena... ... .44.7..36.3... 2nd warmest 34.5... .29.0... 2nd warmest
Lewistown... .42.4..32.9... 2nd warmest 32.8... .27.4... 6th warmest
W yellowston.27.6..24.6... 13th warmest 22.1... .17.4... 5th warmest

Precipitation... inches...
              Mar norm Jan-Mar norm
Bozeman... ... .0.47..0.94... 9th driest 0.84... .1.90... 3rd driest
Cut Bank... ... 0.25..0.50... 35th driest 1.14... .0.91... 45th wettest
Dillon... ... ..0.15..0.54... 6th driest 0.34... .1.04... 3rd driest
Great Falls... 0.09..0.91... 2nd wettest 1.49... .1.89... 3rd driest
Havre... ... ... 0.53..0.54... 60th wettest 2.16... .1.15... 24th wettest
Helena... ... ..0.15..0.59... 12th driest 1.17... .1.25... 31st driest
Lewistown... ..0.27..0.99... 7th driest 1.77... .2.00... 36th driest
W Yellowstone.0.38..1.63... 5th driest 2.52... .5.17... 5th driest

Snowfall... inches...
               Mar norm Jan-Mar norm
Bozeman msu... 6.5..14.9... 10th lowest 19.8... .39.3... 6th lowest
Cut Bank... ... 3.7.. 7.4... 39th lowest 18.6... .17.4... 40th lowest
Dillon... ... .. 4.0.. 9.0... 47th lowest 5.2... .17.6... 4th lowest
Great Falls... 0.8..11.9... 2nd lowest 23.5... .28.7... 31st lowest
Havre... ... ... T.. 6.3... 4th lowest 15.9... .18.9... 47th lowest
Helena... ... .. T.. 6.2... 2nd lowest 9.1... .17.4... 10th lowest
W Yellowstone. 3.5..19.2... 8th lowest 26.1... .75.8... 2nd lowest

Average wind speed... mph...
              Mar norm rank Jan-Mar norm rank
Bozeman... ... .6.1... .6.2... 20th calmest 5.3... . 5.2... 17th calmest
Cut Bank... ..15.3... 13.6... 16th windiest 14.5... .13.5... 28th windiest
Dillon... ... .11.0... 10.2... 19th windiest 10.2... . 9.9... 30th windiest
Great Falls..13.4... 12.2... 25th windiest 12.6... .12.5... 25th calmest
Havre... ... ..11.4... 10.4... 8th windiest 11.1... .10.1... 8th windiest
Helena... ... . 8.0... .7.5... 60th calmest 6.4... . 6.2... 26th calmest
Lewistown... .10.3... 10.0 ..29th windiest 9.9... . 9.9... 27th calmest

With general ridging aloft, Montana experienced warm and dry
conditions in March. A stronger-than-normal ridge anchored along the
West Coast brought sustained west-northwesterly flow aloft to the
state.

March of 2014 and 2015 were in Stark contrast. While 2014 was cool
and wet, this March was very warm and dry. Many locations ranked
among their second or third warmest marchs of record. Bozeman and
Havre had their third warmest March of record, while other locations
were second warmest. At Cut Bank, Great Falls and Havre, this was
the warmest March since 1986. While at Lewistown and Helena, this
was the warmest since 2010. At Dillon, the first three months have
averaged the warmest such period of record. The old record for this
period was in 1992, with an average temperature of 34.6 degrees.
Dillon has also recorded 14 record high temperatures so far this
year. This warmth is consistent across southwest Montana. Even
Wisdom has had 13 record warm high temperatures this year.

All areas in southwest and north central Montana had temperature
averages above normal. Departures ranged from 1.9 degrees above
normal at West Yellowstone, to 9.5 degrees above normal at
Lewistown. Great Falls city recorded the warmest area average, 45.6
degrees, while the coolest March average was at yellow mule, 27.1
degrees. The March temperature extremes were 80 at Loma on the 28th
and -23 at Whiskey Creek on the 4th. The temperature range of 82
degrees at Great Falls was the largest range in March since 2003.
Also, this is the fourth consecutive month of above normal
temperatures.

Precipitation was below normal. Many points ranked among their 10
driest marchs of record. Great Falls, with only 0.09-inches, was the
second driest of record, exceeded only by March 1916. The wettest
location was St Mary, where 3.07-inches of precipitation fell. For
the first three months of the year, this has been the third driest
at Bozeman, Dillon and Great Falls. At Dillon, this is the driest
such period since 1964, while at Great Falls, its been since 2004.
At West Yellowstone, where only 2.52-inches has fallen since January
1, this is the driest such period since 1979.

As with precipitation, snowfall was below normal. Havre and Helena
recorded only a trace for the month, while West Yellowstone had only
3.5 inches. These were the lowest monthly snowfalls since 1993 at
Bozeman, and 1986 at Great Falls. For the year-to-date, this is the
4th lowest value at Dillon and second lowest at West Yellowstone.
This is the smallest amount of snow for the year at West Yellowstone
since 1931. For the water-year, 73-inches of snow at West
Yellowstone is the lowest amount since 1977.

Winds were generally stronger than normal. The strongest wind
average was at Deep Creek RAWS, with an average of 24.5 mph. At
lower elevation locations, two medicine had an average of 15.6 mph
and Cut Bank recorded an average of 15.3 mph. The highest area gust
was on the 28th when strong winds behind a cold front produced many
gusts over 70 mph. The peak was 81 mph near Stanford.

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, and Lewistown began in 1896. West Yellowstone records began
in 1905 and winds began 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
at www.Ncdc.NOAA.Gov


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