If you were thinking that October was an extraordinarily cold month, you were right.

The month of October was the coldest on record according to the National Weather Service.

Senior Meteorologist Bob Nester has the statistics for the month just past.

“2019 turned out to be the coldest on record,” said Nester. “The average temperature for the month was 38.2 degrees. The record before that was in 2009 when the average temperature was 39.7 degrees, so we broke the record by a degree and a half. The monthly average temperature was six and a half degrees below normal, so to break a record like that is pretty significant because those records date back to 1948.”

Nester said November will also be a month where inversions can cause dense fog in the western Montana valleys.

“We are getting into the fog season,” he said. “When ridges develop in this time of year, we’re more likely to have fog development in the valleys, so that potential will be there more and more as we get into late November and early December.”

Nester explained why it feels colder when there is dense fog.

“When we have inversions and fog like that the heat from the sun doesn’t really mix down into the valleys themselves and it kind of puts a lid on things,” he said. “And, there is extra moisture in the air, so it does feel colder.”

This winter will not be influenced by either am El Nino or a La Nina pattern, so it is more difficult to provide long range forecasts for the period between December and March.

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