The Massive Montana Blizzard Of April 1969 Will Never Be Forgotten

It’s no secret that winters are brutal in Montana—in fact, it’s impossible to determine when we the state experienced its worst winter. The National Weather Service even released an article in 1999 called “The Top 10 Montana Weather Events of the 20th Century.” Still, believe it or not, one of the worst blizzards in our history happened in the spring. One of the biggest snowstorms in Montana came about in 1969, and it shocked the entire state. 

Our records snowfalls aren’t always fun, but sometimes snow makes Montana look beautiful.

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The OIYS Visitor Center

Blizzards In Montana

December 14, 2019

When was the biggest blizzard in Montana?

Montana has been the victim of many aggressive winters, which in turn have delivered rough weather and bad blizzards. In January and February of 1889, an Arctic air mass left Montana under some of the most extreme wind chills the state has ever experienced. Record lows in Billings were recorded, and though lows in the -20’s were recorded across the state, in Wisdom, Montana, it reached -52F. The entire state was frozen, and the record amount of snow dumped that winter kept the lonely western plains of the nation’s north buried deep.

What is the most snow ever recorded in Montana?

Montana is always breaking its own records, since the state experiences such intense swings in winter seasons every year. Missoula, Montana, however, set a September record in 2019 that broke its earlier record in 1934. 1.7 inches of snow had already fallen in September, breaking 1.5 inches that fell in the 1930’s. Great Falls, Montana received 9.7 inches of snow on a Saturday and another 9.6 the next day, which significantly buried the city’s in snow before autumn had even begun.

What is winter weather in Montana typically like?

Montana is known for seeing some serious wintertime extremes even across the state. There are some areas in the state that end up in a deep-freeze, buried below temperatures in the solid negatives from late summer to springtime, whereas other parts of the state can experience temperatures up to 50 degrees warmer at the same time. The coldest month in the state is by far February, and though heavy snowfall is recorded between November and Mary, it can snow as early as September and as late as early May. Montana sure knows how to experience an intense wintertime!

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