With less than five months until Christmas, it sure felt a tad like it in Monday in parts of Montana – despite it being the heart of summer.
A uniquely sharp trough (long area) of low pressure is bringing in gusty northwesterly winds and snow – yes, snow – to some of Montana’s highest peaks. The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Missoula, Montana reported on Monday that snow was falling as low as 8,000 feet in Glacier National Park and on Saddle Mountain in the Bitterroot Range. Lone Peak, Montana, at 11,166 feet, reported light accumulation, according to the NWS’ Great Falls, Montana office.
The snow isn’t expected to accumulate much below 10,000 feet, but it’s certainly making for an unusual sight even deep into the typically cold and snowy Rocky Mountains.
After a high of 87° on Saturday in Missoula, it barely moved into the low 60s on Monday – a high more typical for mid-October rather than late July. Great Falls, Montana only hit 61° on Monday, just a day after a high of 85° on Sunday.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this is the warmest week of the year for most of Montana. However, temperatures are expected to stay well below average through mid-week, when a warm-up to near seasonable temperatures arrives. That should melt away the snow, and a taste of winter in the dog days of summer, by the end of the week.
In the meantime, make sure to grab a sweatshirt across Big Sky Country!
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi – Photo: Big Sky Resort