99 MPH Winds – and a Record 60 Degrees in Missoula Saturday
The National Weather Service is reporting that Missoula not only had wind gusts at nearly 100 miles per hour on Saturday, but that the temperature reached a record high of 60 degrees in the afternoon.
Senior Forecaster Bob Nester said there were multiple reports of downed trees, a semi-truck rollover near Lolo, and brief power outages due to the major wind event that swept through western Montana.
"One of our sites up in West Glacier at about 7,500 feet there was a wind gust of 96 miles per hour," said Nester. But, of note, here in Missoula on Point Six above Snowbowl Ski Area, there was a wind gust reported of 99 miles per hour. On top of Mt. Sentinel at about 5,000 feet there was a wind gust reported at 96 miles per hour.
In addition, Missoula experienced a record for the first day of February.
"Another significant stat today is that we hit 60 degrees, and this is the earliest that we've ever hit 60 degrees since records have been kept at the airport, and that was since 1948," he said. "It's the earliest date of the year that we've ever hit 60 degrees in Missoula.
Nester said once the winds die down this evening there will be another weather system moving through that may deposit up to a couple of inches of snow in the Missoula valley, so driving on Sunday morning could be icy.