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ANNUAL CLIMATIC SUMMARY FOR GREAT FALLS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
1145 PM MST MON DEC 31 2001

THE 2001 CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR GREAT FALLS.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE..................: 46.4
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL................: +1.6
HIGHEST TEMPERATURE..................: 100 ON AUGUST 3RD
LOWEST TEMPERATURE...................: -12 ON FEBRUARY 8TH

TOTAL PRECIPITATION (INCHES).........: 10.28
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL................: -4.93
MOST IN 24 HOURS.....................: 1.22 ON JULY 30TH-31ST

TOTAL SNOWFALL (INCHES)..............: 51.1
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL................: -11.6
MOST IN 24 HOURS.....................: 6.3 ON MARCH 14TH

PEAK WIND (MPH)......................: 56 ON OCTOBER 23RD

THE PAST YEAR WAS WARMER THAN NORMAL...WITH TEMPERATURES AVERAGING
1.6 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL PER DAY. THE YEAR WAS THE 11TH DRIEST ON
RECORD...WITH JUST SLIGHTLY MORE PRECIPITATION THAN FELL IN 2000.
PRECIPITATION FOR THE YEAR WAS ALMOST 5 INCHES BELOW NORMAL.

MEMORABLE WEATHER EVENTS DURING 2001 IN GREAT FALLS...

JANUARY 2001 AVERAGED NEARLY 10 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL. SOUTHWEST WIND
PREVAILED FOR MOST OF THE MONTH...AND ON THE MORNING OF THE 4TH THE
ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT HAD ITS WINDIEST DAY OF THE YEAR. BOTH BROWNING
AND CUT BANK HAD WINDS OVER 70 MPH...AND CHOTEAU HAD A WIND OF OVER
100 MPH. WEAK INTRUSIONS OF ARCTIC AIR OCCURRED BETWEEN THE 12TH AND
15TH...AND ALSO ON THE 23RD AND 24TH. BUT EVEN ON THESE DAYS...HIGH
TEMPERATURES WERE STILL CLOSE TO NORMAL.

A POTENT BLAST OF CANADIAN AIR MOVED INTO NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA ON
FEBRUARY 6TH. TEMPERATURES STAYED AT OR BELOW FREEZING THROUGH THE
17TH WITH OCCASIONAL SNOW SHOWERS FALLING DURING THIS PERIOD. THE
COLD SPELL WAS BROKEN BY A CHINOOK ON THE 18TH. BUT FEBRUARY ENDED
AS THE COLDEST MONTH OF THE YEAR...AVERAGING 10 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL.

MARCH CAN HAVE A WIDE RANGE OF TEMPERATURES AS THE TRANSITION TO
SPRING BEGINS...BUT MARCH OF 2001 DISAPPOINTED IN THIS REGARD. THERE
WERE ONLY 2 DAYS WITH A HIGH ABOVE 60...AND 2 DAYS WITH A HIGH BELOW
FREEZING. GREAT FALLS PICKED UP 6 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE MORNING OF
THE 14TH...FOR ITS BIGGEST SNOW OF THE YEAR...BUT ALL OF THE SNOW
MELTED BY THE MORNING OF THE 16TH.

A STRONG WINTER STORM HIT THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT AND NEARBY PLAINS
ON APRIL 2ND AND 3RD...BUT IN GREAT FALLS THE STORM DUMPED MOSTLY
RAIN. MOST OF GLACIER AND PONDERA COUNTIES RECEIVED AT LEAST A FOOT
OF SNOW...LED BY ST. MARY WITH 20 INCHES. THE FIRST CASE OF SUMMER
WEATHER OCCURRED LATE IN THE MONTH WHEN THE HIGH WAS 78 ON
CONSECUTIVE DAYS FROM THE 26TH TO THE 28TH.

MAY BEGAN A WARM AND DRY PERIOD THAT WOULD LAST THROUGH THE SUMMER.
WHEN THE THERMOMETER HIT 90 ON MAY 12TH...IT BECAME THE EARLIEST 90
DEGREE DAY ON RECORD IN GREAT FALLS. A SINGLE STORM ON THE EVENING
OF THE 19TH AND EARLY ON THE 20TH PROVIDED ALL OF THE 0.51 INCHES OF
PRECIPITATION THAT FELL DURING MAY. THIS INCLUDED OVER AN INCH OF
SNOW...THE FINAL SNOW OF THE SEASON.

JUNE WAS AGAIN DRIER THAN NORMAL...THE 8TH CONSECUTIVE SUCH MONTH IN
GREAT FALLS. HOWEVER THE 1.79 INCHES OF RAIN MADE IT THE WETTEST
MONTH SINCE MAY 2000...AND THE 0.78 INCHES THAT FELL ON THE 3RD WAS
THE WETTEST DAY IN OVER A YEAR. SOME OF THE RAIN THAT FELL IN GREAT
FALLS...FELL AS SNOW OVER THE MOUNTAINS...AND JUNE FINISHED COOLER
THAN NORMAL.

JULY AND AUGUST WERE HOT AND GENERALLY DRY. JULY STARTED WITH A HIGH
OF AT LEAST 90 ON 8 OF THE FIRST 9 DAYS...INCLUDING A 97 ON JULY
4TH...THE 3RD WARMEST INDEPENDENCE DAY EVER. GREAT FALLS GENERALLY
AVOIDED DIRECT HITS FROM THUNDERSTORMS DURING THE SUMMER...BUT ONE
EXCEPTION WAS ON THE 12TH WHEN NEARLY A HALF INCH OF RAIN FELL.

A TEMPERATURE OF 100 WAS REACHED FOR THE ONLY TIME IN 2001 ON AUGUST
3RD...AND EVERY DAY BUT 3 IN AUGUST HAD A HIGH OF AT LEAST 80. A
THUNDERSTORM HIT GREAT FALLS ON THE 4TH...AND DIME-SIZED HAIL FELL
NEAR BELT. BUT THAT WAS THE ONLY DAY IN THE MONTH WITH MEASURABLE
RAINFALL...THE LEAST OF ANY AUGUST ON RECORD.

RAIN ON SEPTEMBER 5TH ENDED A STRETCH OF 31 DAYS WITHOUT MEASURABLE
PRECIPITATION...THE LONGEST DRY SPELL IN OVER 20 YEARS. HOWEVER...BY
THE 7TH...1.48 INCHES OF RAIN HAD FALLEN ON GREAT FALLS WHICH WAS
ENOUGH TO MAKE SEPTEMBER WETTER THAN NORMAL. A COOL SYSTEM ALSO
GAVE THE MOUNTAINS AROUND GREAT FALLS THEIR FIRST SNOW OF THE SEASON
ON THE 7TH. BUT THE DRY AND WARM PATTERN THAT DOMINATED THE SUMMER
RESUMED AFTER THE 7TH...AND SEPTEMBER FINISHED 4 DEGREES ABOVE
NORMAL.

A PROLONGED COOLER THAN NORMAL PERIOD BEGAN ON OCTOBER 2ND...AND A
SERIES OF CANADIAN COLD FRONTS KEPT TEMPERATURES DOWN THROUGH THE
18TH. FROM THIS POINT...TEMPERATURES REMAINED ABOVE NORMAL FOR THE
REST OF THE YEAR WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS. THE FIRST SNOW OF AT LEAST AN
INCH IN GREAT FALLS WAITED UNTIL OCTOBER 28TH...ONE WEEK LATER THAN
NORMAL.

ANOTHER DRY SPELL HIT IN NOVEMBER...WHEN MEASURABLE PRECIPITATION
WAS NOT RECORDED UNTIL THE 25TH. LIGHT SNOW ON THE 25TH AND 26TH
PROVIDED THE 0.14 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION THAT WAS RECORDED DURING
THE MONTH. NOVEMBER WAS ALSO WINDY...WITH 12 DAYS HAVING A PEAK WIND
OF 30 MPH OR GREATER.

THE FIRST 2 WEEKS OF DECEMBER WERE SIMILAR TO NOVEMBER...DRY...
WARM...AND WINDY. NEARLY ALL OF THE PRECIPITATION FOR THE MONTH
OCCURED FROM 4.6 INCHES OF SNOW ON THE MORNING OF THE 21ST. VERY
COLD AIR MOVED INTO THE AREA ON THE 29TH...AND STAYED IN GREAT FALLS
THROUGH THE END OF THE YEAR.

DAILY TEMPERATURE RECORDS SET OR TIED IN 2001...

DATE   RECORD   VALUE    OLD RECORD
JAN 3   HIGH      57      57 (1918)
MAY 12  HIGH      90      89 (1960)
MAY 21  LOW       30      31 (1975 1996)
JUN 16  LOW       35      36 (1894 1994)
JUN 19  LOW       38      38 (1902)
AUG 3   HIGH     100     100 (1961)
SEP 24  HIGH      91      89 (1938)
SEP 25  HIGH      93      88 (1922 1963 1990)
NOV 16  HIGH      66      65 (1908)


POMEROY


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