Don’t worry Montana, our cold weather records are still safe


While the mid-west struggles to push the mercury higher than 0 degrees fahrenheit, we here in Montana are looking to experience some below zero weather of our own in the coming week. Yes, February is less than 24 hours away, and it will arrive in expected fashion, as it does most every other year, with below zero temps.

(tap or click on image to enlarge)

According to the Associated Press, schools closed, rail lines snapped and over 1,700 flights were canceled in or out of Chicago this week. Forecasts for the mid-western regions are calling for temps to start creeping up and that’s some good news for our eastern friends. The AP even went so far as to provide a graphic sourced from the NOAA/National Climatic Data Center citing the coldest weather on record

Also according to the Associated Press, Chicago’s temperature dropped to a low of around -21 degrees (minus 30 Celsius) on Thursday, slightly above the city’s lowest-ever reading of -27 degrees (minus 32 Celsius) in January 1985. Milwaukee’s low was -25 degrees (minus 31 Celsius). Minneapolis recorded -24 degrees (minus 31 Celsius), and wind chills were as low as -38 (minus 39 Celsius), an improvement from a day earlier.

We here in Montana can surely find a bit of empathy for our eastern neighbors, especially when it comes to frigid weather. When it comes to record lows however, on average, both Montana and Alaska have the market cornered. Alaska holds the over all national record for being the coldest in the nation at -76 degrees below zero and the coldest temperature ever recorded in Montana was -70 degrees below zero at Rogers Pass north of Helena, in 1954. This is also a national record for the lower 48 states.

When you look at the graphic, you’ll notice that Rogers Pass is conspicuously absent, and Alaska is listed as a mere footnote.

Also, according to the graphic, we seem to notice quite a few Montana cold spot records that have been set for their respective areas over the years.

It’s been pretty cold in the mid-west lately, but if history is any indication at all of just how cold it’s been or might be nationwide, something tells me that Montana might be telling the mid-west, “Hold my Beer and watch this” … again.

Grab your snugglebugs and hunker down, ’cause it’s going to be a bit on the chilly side this coming week.

Until next time … Happy Trails