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Montana, Gallatin

Public Information Statement

Statement as of 1:52 PM MDT on May 02, 2016


... April 2016 and Oct-Apr seasonal weather summary for north central
and southwest Montana...

Average temperature... degrees fahrenheit...
             Apr norm rank Oct-Apr norm rank
Bozeman... ... 46.5..42.7... 4th warmest 33.1... .30.8... 34th warmest
Cut Bank... ..45.7..41.0... 12th warmest 34.7... .30.6... 2nd warmest
Dillon... ... .46.3..41.6... 4th warmest 33.8... .31.4... 13th warmest
Great Falls..46.4..43.1... 32nd warmest 36.9... .33.3... 13th warmest
Havre... ... ..47.6..44.4... 21st warmest 34.7... .33.1... 5th warmest
Helena... ... .49.8..44.9... 6th warmest 36.8... .33.1... 2nd warmest
Lewistown... .46.5..41.4... 9th warmest 36.7... .31.8... 1st warmest
W yellowston.38.2..33.6... 9th warmest 25.0... .21.8... 10th warmest

Precipitation... inches...
              Apr norm Oct-Apr norm
Bozeman... ... .0.84..1.60... 18th driest 5.24... .5.88... 38th wettest
Cut Bank... ... 1.64..0.78... 11th wettest 4.31... .2.69... 18th wettest
Dillon... ... ..1.13..1.07... 25th wettest 3.80... .3.45... 23rd wettest
Great Falls... 2.83..1.42... 6th wettest 9.08... .5.31... 6th wettest
Havre... ... ... 3.55..0.84... 2nd wettest 6.34... .3.40... 9th wettest
Helena... ... ..1.01..0.98... 42nd wettest 3.37... .3.80... 26th driest
Lewistown... ..1.51..1.41... 40th wettest 5.90... .5.91... 44th driest
W Yellowstone.0.76..1.62... 15th driest 10.60... 12.94... 29th driest

Average wind speed... mph...
              Apr norm rank Oct-Apr norm rank
Bozeman... ... .6.4... .6.8... 4th calmest 5.4... . 5.3... 13th calmest
Cut Bank... ..12.0... 13.1... 11th calmest 13.5... .13.4... 27th calmest
Dillon... ... .10.0... 9.7... 19th calmest 10.0... . 9.5... 21st windiest
Great Falls.. 9.6... 12.1... 5th calmest 12.4... .13.3... 20th calmest
Havre... ... ..10.1... 11.0... 35th windiest 10.4... .10.2... 23rd windiest
Helena... ... . 7.8... .8.0... 12th calmest 6.3... . 6.3... 14th calmest
Lewistown... . 9.0... 9.7 ..15th calmest 9.7... . 9.9... 23rd calmest

An upper level ridge along the West Coast dominated the weather
across Montana in April. The first 10 days were generally dry,
continuing the dry trend from March. A large weather system brought
generous rain and snow to most of the state mid-month. Another
unsettled pattern brought a round of rain and snow during the last
week.

April temperatures were above normal for the month. There were small
areas along the hi-line that were near normal. Many locations aross
the southwest ranked fourth warmest of record. At Bozeman, Dillon,
Helena and Lewistown, this was the warmest April since 1987. Average
temperature departures ranged from 1.0f above normal at Chinook, to
5.1f above normal at Lewistown. Norris Madison (madison) recorded
the warmest area average, 50.6f, while the coolest April average was
at yellow mule, 33.1f. The April temperature extremes were 83f at
Grass Range on the 22nd and +1f at Elk Park on the 16th. The monthly
lowest temperature of 24f at Great Falls was the warmest such
temperature since 1998.
The area composite average temperature was 45.9f, 4.3f above normal,
and the fifth consecutive month with above normal average
temperatures.
The water year's average temperatures have continued on the warm
side as well. Water-year composite average temperature is 34f, the
seventh warmest of record and the warmest since 2000. Lewistown's
water-year-to-date average temperature of 36.7f is their warmest of
record, exceeding the old record set in 1934 (36.6f).

Precipitation amounts were variable. An area of much above normal
precipitation was over north central Montana east of Shelby. A small
area with below normal precipitation was centered around Gallatin
County. Havre had their second wettest April of record, and now
their 9th wettest water year. This is the wettest April at Havre
since 1955, and water-year since 1978. West Yellowstone recorded
their driest April since 2009. The wettest lower elevation location
was ft Belknap, where 4.35-inches of precipitation fell, while
nearby Rocky Boy recorded 4.90-inches.
The area composite average was 1.71-inches, 0.37-inches above normal
and the wettest since 2012. The water year is also above normal,
almost three-quarters of an inch. It is the wettest water year since
2014.

Snowfall was generally on the light side. Bozeman, Dillon and Helena
all recorded a trace. Great Falls had 7.2-inches, still below the
normal of 8.6-inches for April. Even West Yellowstone only measured
1.5-inches, about 12-inches below their April average. A location near
Neihart recorded 22.5-inches, the highest for the month. The area
average was 2.1-inches, about 3.4-inches below normal. This ranked
as the 23rd lowest amount for April. For the water-year, an average
of 37.8-inches has been recorded, which is the lowest amount since
1988 and the 13th lowest amount of record.
At West Yellowstone, the snow melted out on April 20, the 9th
earliest of record. The normal melt-out date is may 3.

Winds were generally on the calmer side. The strongest wind average
was at Deep Creek RAWS, with an average of 14.5 mph. At lower
elevation locations, Sweet Grass had an average of 13.6 mph. The
highest area gust was on the 6th when gusts reached 82 mph at Deep
Creek RAWS and 68 mph near Geraldine.
The area composite average speed was 9.3 mph, 0.5 mph below normal.
This is the 13th calmest water-year-to-date of record.

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... 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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