For a while now, The National Weather Service has been predicting a warmer winter for Montana, but according to weather service meteorologist Jeff Kitzmiller, things in the Missoula area recently have been abnormally chilly.

“Looking at the last week, we went into a cold pattern and we have been well below normal thus far,” Kitzmiller said. “It looks like November 7 was the first day to go below normal and each day since we have been below anywhere from four to eleven degrees below what you would normally see this time of year.”

Kitzmiller says we should start to see the effects of an El Nino warming pattern soon, but although most of the state is expected to be warmer, places like Missoula… may not be.

“When we get to December, we usually see that flip where we tend to see less weather systems and warmer weather systems,” Kitzmiller said. “We will see warmer temperatures in general throughout the season, typical less artic, but one caveat is if you live in the valley, like we do here in Missoula, sometimes we get under that stable high pressure and even though it is getting warmer in the terrain, the valleys can actually end up getting colder.”

One easier prediction for the National Weather Service has to do with snowfall, last year Montana had near record breaking amounts of snow in the mountains and meteorologists are expecting a lot less this winter.

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