Montana December 14, 2017
It’s Impossible To Forget These 7 Horrific Winter Storms That Have Gone Down In Montana History
Winter is a beautiful season in Montana… but we’ll be the first to admit it can get pretty treacherous. In fact, some of our storms have made national news and caused some major damage. These are a few of the harshest on record.
1. Let's start with Havre, 2017.
In October, the first blizzard of the season in Havre broke the record for snowfall in October. With over 30 inches being dumped on the city, it's safe to say this winter will be a long one for the people of Havre -- also, this is proof that Montana winters start long before the calendar dates dictate.
2. In January of 1916, an Arctic cold front put Browning on the map.
The cold front caused the temperature to drop from 44°F to -56°F in 24 hours. This 100+ degree change stands as the most dramatic 24 hour drop in temperature ever recorded in the United States.
3. Living in Billings was especially treacherous in 1955.
After a particularly brutal winter in 1954 and 1955, Billings was subject to a record-breaking storm... in early April, nonetheless. Between April 2 and April 5, an estimated 42.3 inches of snow fell. This proves the point that Montana lives by its own rules -- it doesn't even have to officially be winter for us to see a huge snowstorm.
4. In January of 1887, record cold and snow decimated cattle herds in Montana (and the entire west).
Local ranchers had seen harsh winters before, but this one was especially brutal. Deceived by a string of mild winters, many were not prepared for the snowfall in January of 1887, and their cattle suffered in the storm. 5,000 head of cattle invaded the outskirts of Great Falls, eating the saplings the townspeople had planted that spring and "bawling for food."
5. From January 30 - February 4, 1889, a frigid Arctic air mass invaded the northern Rockies, bringing record cold temperatures and extreme wind chills to most of Montana.
Record lows were established in Billings for 5 consecutive days, while Bozeman set record lows for 4 straight days. In Missoula, record lows of -22F and -23F were established on the 2nd and the 3rd. Wisdom, Montana, had a recorded temperature of -52F on February 3.
6. Earlier this year, 5 feet of snow was dumped on the Rocky Mountain Front, breaking long-standing snowfall records at a few spots.
St. Mary saw a whopping 64 inches of snowfall between February 3 - 7, and Great Falls saw 60 inches, breaking a local record from 1954.
7. On November 9, 2012, a huge snowstorm in Southwest Montana led to over 30 crashes in the Butte area.
Slick roads and limited visibility were to blame, with many people being unprepared for the sudden snow.
Montana weather is predictable in any season. This
massive blizzard in April of 1969 is proof.