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Weather Wise: Montana's wild weather records

Weather Wise: Montana's wild weather records
Posted at 4:24 PM, Feb 19, 2024

Montana is one of the best when it comes to wild weather and extreme temperature records. While the most famous temperature record may be the 70 below at Rogers Pass, Montana holds other extremely impressive records.

70 below zero at Rogers Pass on January 20, 1954, is not only the coldest temperature ever in Montana, but it's the national record for the lower 48 states. Combine this low number with the state's hottest temperature of 117 degrees in Medicine Lake, and Montana's all-time temperature range record is 187 degrees, the most extreme temperature range in any of the 50 states.

What a difference a day can make. On January 15, 1972 in Loma, the temperature rose 103 degrees from -54 to +49. this is the world record for a 24-hour temperature change.

Fairfield on December 14, 1924, saw the temperature drop from 63 to -21. This 84-degree change in just 12 hours is a record for the United States.

In the Electric City of Great Falls, on January 11, 1980, the temperature climbed from -32 to 15 in just seven minutes, the record for the most rapid temperature change registered in the United States.

On the night of January 27, 1887, snowflakes described as "larger than milk pans" fell in the vicinity of a ranch near Missoula. How big is a milk pan? Beats me but the flakes were up to 15 inches across and 8 inches thick, likely a conglomeration of smaller snowflakes clumped together.