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NOUS45 KTFX 070905 AAA

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
1006 PM MST TUE DEC 31 2002

...2002 WEATHER SUMMARY FOR NORTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MONTANA...

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE / DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL:
  GREAT FALLS....43.2 / -0.5
  HAVRE..........42.1 / -0.9
  HELENA.........45.3 / +1.3
  BOZEMAN........41.0 / -1.1
  DILLON.........41.9 / -1.1
  LEWISTOWN......41.6 / -1.0
  CUT BANK.......40.0 / -1.1

HIGHEST / LOWEST TEMPERATURE:
  GREAT FALLS....102 ON JULY 12TH / -22 ON MARCH 8TH                 
  HAVRE.......... 98 ON JULY 12TH / -27 ON MARCH 9TH
  HELENA.........105 ON JULY 12TH / -13 ON FEBRUARY 26TH
  BOZEMAN........102 ON JULY 12TH / -24 ON FEBRUARY 26TH
  DILLON.........102 ON JULY 12TH / -15 ON FEBRUARY 25TH AND MARCH 8TH
  LEWISTOWN......101 ON JULY 13TH AND 14TH / -21 ON MARCH 21ST
  CUT BANK....... 94 ON JULY 11TH AND 13TH / -34 ON MARCH 8TH

PRECIPITATION / DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL / MOST IN 24 HOURS:
  GREAT FALLS....15.07 / +0.18 / 2.90 ON JUNE 9TH-10TH
  HAVRE..........13.72 / +2.26 / 1.79 ON JULY 7TH-8TH
  HELENA.........12.55 / +1.23 / 1.47 ON JUNE 9TH-10TH
  BOZEMAN........12.17 / -2.54 / 1.57 ON MAY 21ST-22ND   
  DILLON......... 8.94 / -1.00 / 1.22 ON JUNE 1ST-2ND   
  LEWISTOWN......15.94 / -1.91 / 3.12 ON AUGUST 8TH-9TH
  CUT BANK.......12.19 / -0.32 / 2.34 ON JUNE 7TH-8TH

SNOWFALL / DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL / MOST IN 24 HOURS:
  GREAT FALLS....59.2 / -1.7 / 6.8 ON MARCH 20TH

PEAK WIND (MPH):
  GREAT FALLS....66 ON FEBRUARY 11TH
  HAVRE..........60 ON JULY 14TH
  HELENA.........58 ON JULY 14TH
  BOZEMAN........48 ON MARCH 12TH AND JULY 14TH
  DILLON.........70 ON SEPTEMBER 29TH
  LEWISTOWN......72 ON JULY 14TH
  CUT BANK.......77 ON APRIL 14TH

2002 WAS COLDER THAN NORMAL WITH NEAR TO ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION 
ACROSS CENTRAL AND NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA AND BELOW NORMAL 
PRECIPITATION IN SOUTHWEST MONTANA. THE FOLLOWING IS A 
MONTH-BY-MONTH SUMMARY OF WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS IN 2002...

JANUARY WAS TYPIFIED BY MANY WINDY DAYS AND LITTLE PRECIPITATION... 
ESPECIALLY OVER THE PLAINS. THE MOST SERIOUS WIND EVENT OCCURRED ON 
THE 12TH...WHEN A PACIFIC COLD FRONT GENERATED WIDESPREAD WIND GUSTS 
OVER 60 MPH FROM BOULDER TO CUT BANK. THE HIGHEST WIND MEASURED 
DURING THIS EVENT WAS 68 MPH AT THE NWS OFFICE IN GREAT FALLS. ON 
THE 24TH WINDS WERE CLOCKED AT OVER 100 MPH NEAR CHOTEAU. THE ONLY 
MAJOR SNOWSTORM OF THE MONTH WAS ON THE 27TH WHEN 4 TO 8 INCHES OF 
SNOW FELL ON CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST MONTANA.

FEBRUARY WAS WARMER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL FOR THE FIRST THREE WEEKS. 
BUT A SHARP CHANGE TO MUCH COLDER WEATHER TOOK PLACE LATE IN THE 
MONTH. ON THE 24TH...A STORM DUMPED 4 OR MORE INCHES OF SNOW OVER A 
WIDESPREAD AREA WITH AS MUCH AS 15 INCHES IN THE MOUNTAINS. IN THE 
SOUTHWEST...MOST LOCATIONS HAD THEIR COLDEST TEMPERATURES OF THE 
YEAR DURING THE LAST WEEK OF FEBRUARY. WEST YELLOWSTONE DIPPED TO 39 
BELOW ON THE MORNING OF THE 26TH. 

MARCH WAS AMONG THE COLDEST ON RECORD FOR NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA. 
INTRUSIONS OF ARCTIC AIR OCCURRED THROUGHOUT THE MONTH. AT CUT 
BANK...THE LOW TEMPERATURE OF 34 BELOW ON THE 8TH WAS THE COLDEST 
MARCH TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED THERE. OVERALL...THERE WERE 16 DAYS 
WITH A TEMPERATURE BELOW ZERO AT CUT BANK AND HAVRE...12 AT GREAT 
FALLS. THE COLD AIR BROUGHT LITTLE MOISTURE. HOWEVER A SNOWSTORM DID 
COVER THE HELENA VALLEY AND SURROUNDING AREAS WITH AROUND 6 INCHES 
ON THE 7TH. ANOTHER STORM ON THE 19TH AND 20TH AFFECTED AREAS 
FARTHER NORTH...WITH GREAT FALLS GETTING 8 INCHES AND PARTS OF 
FERGUS COUNTY RECEIVING 10 INCHES. 

AFTER 4 TO 8 INCHES OF SNOW BLANKETED NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA ON APRIL 
1ST...ARCTIC AIR STAYED OVER THE PLAINS FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. 
RARE BELOW ZERO READINGS IN APRIL WERE EXPERIENCED AT MANY LOCATIONS 
ON THE 1ST THROUGH THE 3RD. EAST GLACIER HAD A LOW OF 13 BELOW ON 
THE 2ND TO TAKE THE HONORS FOR COLDEST TEMPERATURE IN MONTANA FOR 
APRIL 2002. EVENTUALLY...SPRING-LIKE TEMPERATURES BROKE OUT...BUT AT 
MOST PLACES IT CAME WITH VERY STRONG WINDS. SOME OF THE STRONGEST 
WINDS ALL YEAR WERE RECORDED ON THE 14TH...WITH 77 MPH AT CUT BANK 
AND 75 MPH AT BROWNING.

IN MAY...ATTENTION TURNED TO THE ONGOING DROUGHT AS THE REGION 
ENDURED ANOTHER MONTH WITH BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION. THE WETTEST 
DAYS OF THE MONTH WERE ON THE 21ST AND 22ND WHEN RAIN AND WET SNOW 
IN THE MOUNTAINS PRODUCED OVER AN INCH OF LIQUID AT A FEW PLACES.

THE WEATHER STORY IN JUNE WAS THE STRONG STORM THAT STRUCK CENTRAL 
MONTANA ON THE 7TH THROUGH THE 10TH. GREAT FALLS RECEIVED 4.25 
INCHES OF RAIN DURING THIS PERIOD AND 2.24 INCHES ON THE 10TH 
ALONE...THE 8TH WETTEST DAY ON RECORD. CUT BANK RECEIVED 4.17 INCHES 
OF PRECIPITATION ON THE 8TH THROUGH THE 10TH...THE WETTEST 3 DAY 
PERIOD ON RECORD THERE. SOME PLACES IN THE ROCKIES REPORTED OVER 10 
INCHES OF LIQUID EQUIVALENT FROM THIS STORM...WITH OVER 4 FEET OF 
SNOW. WHILE SOUTHWEST MONTANA DID NOT GET AS MUCH WITH THIS STORM... 
THEY DID GET ABOVE NORMAL PRECIPITATION FOR THE MONTH.

THE MOST DAMAGING THUNDERSTORM OUTBREAK OF THE YEAR OCCURRED ON JULY 
8TH. TORNADOES HIT FERGUS AND BLAINE COUNTIES AND 2.5 INCH HAIL FELL 
AT STANFORD. A HEAT WAVE HIT THE REGION BETWEEN THE 11TH AND 15TH OF 
JULY. ALL-TIME RECORD HIGHS WERE THREATENED AT MANY LOCATIONS... 
ESPECIALLY IN SOUTHWEST MONTANA. IN DILLON...AT THE UNIVERSITY OF 
MONTANA - WESTERN...THE HIGH OF 102 ON THE 12TH BROKE THE RECORD OF 
100 SET ON AUGUST 12TH 1940. AT BOZEMAN...THE READING OF 100 ON THE 
12TH 13TH AND 14TH WERE THE WARMEST TEMPERATURES IN OVER 100 YEARS. 
THE WARMEST TEMPERATURE IN THE AREA WAS 108 NEAR HIGHWOOD ON THE 
13TH. THE WARM TEMPERATURES ON THE 13TH AND 14TH FUELED SEVERE 
THUNDERSTORMS WITH WIND GUSTS NEAR 60 MPH AT MANY LOCATIONS. IT 
COOLED OFF FOR THE REST OF THE MONTH...AND JULY TURNED OUT TO BE 
ONLY SLIGHTLY WARMER THAN NORMAL.

AUGUST WAS COOL AND WET. IN GREAT FALLS...IT WAS THE SECOND COLDEST 
AUGUST EVER. LEWISTOWN HAD ITS 4TH WETTEST DAY EVER ON THE 8TH WHEN 
IT RECEIVED 2.99 INCHES OF RAIN. ON THE THE 16TH...A VIGOROUS COLD 
FRONT SWEPT ACROSS THE AREA...BRINGING DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH 
ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA. IT ALSO BROUGHT SNOW TO THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN 
FRONT AND ADJACENT PLAINS. THIS WAS THE FIRST AUGUST SNOW AT LOWER 
ELEVATIONS SINCE 1992...AND THE EARLIEST SNOW ON RECORD.

A STORM SYSTEM MOVED OVER THE AREA BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 5TH AND 7TH FOR 
COOLER WEATHER WITH NUMEROUS SHOWERS. OVER THE PLAINS...ABOUT HALF 
OF THE MONTHLY PRECIPITATION FELL DURING THIS TIME. TOWARD THE END 
OF THE MONTH...A SERIES OF COLD FRONTS MOVED THROUGH...BRINGING MUCH
COOLER TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION. ON THE 29TH...THE LAST SEVERE 
THUNDERSTORM OF THE YEAR OCCURRED NEAR DILLON...WITH A WIND GUST OF 
70 MPH.

OCTOBER WAS COOLER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL. A COOL NORTHERLY FLOW 
PERSISTED OVER NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA. ON THE 21ST...A STRONG ARCTIC 
COLD FRONT MOVED INTO NORTH CENTRAL MONTANA. IT MOVED INTO SOUTHWEST
MONTANA BY THE MORNING OF THE 22ND AND BROUGHT COLD TEMPERATURES AND
SNOW. BY THE 28TH...A STRONGER COLD FRONT MOVED THROUGH AND BROUGHT
BITTER COLD TEMPERATURES AND SNOW. RECORD LOWS WERE SET ON HALLOWEEN 
MORNING WITH 9 BELOW AT GREAT FALLS. THE COLDEST TEMPERATURE IN THE 
REGION ON THE 31ST WAS 20 BELOW AT WISDOM IN BEAVERHEAD COUNTY.

THE INFLUENCE OF EL NINO WAS FELT IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER...WHICH 
WERE WARMER AND DRIER THAN NORMAL. A SERIES OF SURFACE LOWS CROSSED 
SOUTHERN CANADA AND BROUGHT MILD PACIFIC AIR INTO THE AREA WITH 
GUSTY SOUTHWEST WINDS. IT WAS THE FIRST NOVEMBER WITHOUT MEASURABLE 
SNOW IN GREAT FALLS SINCE 1953. IN THE SOUTHWEST...PERIODS OF VALLEY 
FOG AND LOW CLOUDS KEPT TEMPERATURES CLOSER TO NORMAL IN NOVEMBER.
OVER 6 INCHES OF SNOW HIT HELENA ON THE 22ND AND 23RD.

IN DECEMBER...MOST OF THE PRECIPITATION FOR THE PLAINS FELL ON THE 
3RD. CHOTEAU HAD 4 INCHES OF SNOW WHILE 7 INCHES FELL AT STANFORD.
IT WAS ONE OF THE DRIEST DECEMBERS ON RECORD IN SOUTHWEST MONTANA. 
ONLY 0.07 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION WAS RECEIVED AT GALLATIN FIELD 
NEAR BOZEMAN...MAKING THIS THE DRIEST DECEMBER THERE SINCE RECORDS 
BEGAN IN 1941. 

POMEROY/WILLIAMSON











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