One more cold day, Montana temperatures to warm
If you're struggling to stay warm during our second bout with very cold, sub-zero temperatures, you'll be happy to know this extreme cold is already on the way out.
For the second time this winter, temperatures here in Western Montana plunged to -10 to even as low as -20 over the weekend after an arctic cold front pushed across The Divide late Friday night. Although the warm air in the valleys took longer than expected to flush out, by mid-day Saturday the cold was clearly in charge.
Missoula's low was 9 below zero on Sunday morning, a full 10 degrees warmer than the record of -19 since the very cold winter of 1950. The Garden City only managed to reach 8 degrees for a high on Sunday afternoon, 25 degrees colder than normal for the end of January.
Kalispell dropped to an official low of 14 below on Sunday morning, but that was just half of the record low for the date, which was -28 set back in 1980.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Missoula were expecting lows in Western Montana to sink to anywhere from -10 to -20 Monday morning, with the coldest temperatures in places like the Upper Blackfoot Valley. It will be much colder in Southwest Montana, where cold air in the valleys will be somewhere between 30 and 40 below zero.
The good news is, little wind is forecast.
That means the wind chill won't be the problem that it was on Saturday, although west winds are likely to continue east of the Divide.
While clear skies are expected across Western Montana Monday, forecasters said there was a chance for some "lake effect" snow showers along the east side of Flathead Lake.
The good news is, the forecast is for more clouds, and moderating temperatures Tuesday through Thursday. However, some cold air will remain trapped in places like the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys, so temperatures will remain 5 to 15 degrees colder than usual until an incoming weather system arrives at the end of the week.