Wind Chills Dropping to Nearly -50 on Continental Divide
Ski areas in western Montana are closed on Saturday due to cold temperatures and high winds creating life-threatening wind chill conditions.
Here is what the Snowbowl ski line reported on Saturday morning.
“Well, with the high winds and super cold temperatures, we’re not going to open today. We have wind chill of negative 50-plus on top with negative 14 air temperature and 30 mile per hour winds, so we’re going to hold off for today. It is snowing, sp please check back tomorrow, as it looks a little more promising.”
The National Weather Service has been keeping a close eye on the cold temperatures and wind chill factors throughout the state. Meteorologist Jeff Kitzmiller said temperatures will remain cold for the weekend.
“It’s pretty brutal,” said Kitzmiller. “Most of the temperatures are in the single digits and there are a lot of places that are below zero or even right at zero. Wind chills are ranging from negative 20 to negative 30 pretty consistently, and we even have places that are showing close to negative 50 along the divide.”
Kitzmiller said the eastern part of the state is even colder.
“They have a lot of negative 30’s and a lot of negative 40’s for their wind chills,” he said. “I’m not seeing a single spot in eastern Montana that is above zero, they’re all around negative 10.”
Kitzmiller said the temperatures will continue to drop Saturday night into Sunday.
“However, by Monday, we will get a little moderation, with temperatures getting into the teens, and we’ll bring some light snow back into the area,” he said. “There will be heavier snow moving into western Montana as early as this Tuesday.”
Snowbowl, The Big Mountain and Blacktail ski areas officially closed on Saturday due to bitter cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills.