Complaining About the Cold? Hamilton and Missoula are ‘Warm Spots’
It’s been unusually cold in western Montana, but according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Ryan Leach, when it comes to low temperatures, Hamilton and Missoula are actually the warmest.
"Missoula and Hamilton are coming in around one below to zero degrees this morning [February 20th]. We are actually some of the warm spots," Leach said. "It's a pretty classic arctic air mass. What is kind of unusual with it, though, is how late it is coming in the season. Here it is, mid-February, and we've been setting record low temperatures in Butte and Kalispell the last couple days."
Leach says a jet stream kept Western Montana from extremely cold weather most of winter, but moved west this month. And the colder weather won’t be going away soon.
"We actually expect to be at 'below average' temperatures and a little bit wetter than normal going through the whole next week. We are going to have a little bit of a break here for this week, but as little systems come through, we should get some light snow out of them. We don't expect any big snow systems until this weekend, when we're looking at a Pacific front."
While many locations are beating their record lows for February, Missoula still has a long way to go. To break Wednesday's record low, for example, the temperature would need to drop below minus nine degrees in Missoula, something meteorologists don’t expect to happen.