Will This Record-Setting Heat Continue in Montana?
It's not the first time Montana has seen 80-degree temperatures around the 1st of May.
But the fact that we're breaking records that are up to a century old does show how unusual it is for Western Montana to see these kinds of conditions at this point in the spring.
An exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure that settled over the Northern Rockies at the end of last week allowed temperatures to soar over the weekend, with conditions that are more summer-like than what you might expect on a late arriving spring. Temperatures continued to climb over the weekend, with most areas getting well into the 80s on Sunday.
Missoula could break a record from 1901
While Missoula's official high of 81 degrees was warmer than you'd expect in April, it didn't actually break the record of 86 degrees, which dated all the way back to 1926, when your grandpa was probably worried about his old Model T from boiling over.
However, on Sunday we clearly blew past the record in Missoula, with the official high at the airport topping out at 86 degrees. Kalispell was 76 degrees on Saturday, short of the 81-degree record from 1968, and setting the new record of 82 degrees on Sunday.
Monday it seems like another record will fall, with the forecast high of 86 topping the 82-degree record from 1901, the same year the May 1st record was set in Kalispell at 80 degrees. Tuesday's record of 84 in Missoula, dating to 1985, may also fall.
The forecast is for high-temperature readings to remain in the mid, or at least the lower 80s, through Thursday. Afternoon thunderstorms have the potential to keep things a little cooler than the records as the week wears on.
Normal temperatures this time of the year are around 61 degrees.