Skip Navigation Linkswww.weather.gov 
NOAA logo - Click to go to the NOAA homepage National Weather Service Forecast Office   NWS logo - Click to go to the NWS homepage    
Great Falls, Montana
navigation bar decoration      
spacer
ANNUAL CLIMATIC SUMMARY FOR HELENA
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
1020 PM MST MON DEC 31 2001

THE 2001 CLIMATE SUMMARY FOR HELENA.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE..................: 47.2  ...2ND WARMEST...
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL................: +3.2
HIGHEST TEMPERATURE..................: 102 ON AUGUST 3RD
LOWEST TEMPERATURE...................: -9 ON JANUARY 29TH

TOTAL PRECIPITATION (INCHES).........: 10.37
DEPARTURE FROM NORMAL................: -1.23
MOST IN 24 HOURS.....................: 1.15 ON JUNE 3RD

PEAK WIND (MPH)......................: 60 ON FEBRUARY 18TH

2001 GOES DOWN AS THE 2ND WARMEST YEAR ON RECORD. TEMPERATURES
AVERAGED OVER 3 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL PER DAY. 22 DAILY RECORD HIGHS
WERE SET THIS YEAR...ALL OF THEM BETWEEN MAY AND NOVEMBER. IT WAS
ALSO SLIGHTLY DRIER THAN NORMAL. ALTHOUGH HELENA WAS 1.28 INCHES
BELOW NORMAL...THIS WAS CLOSER TO NORMAL THAN MOST LOCATIONS EAST OF
THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE.

MEMORABLE WEATHER EVENTS DURING 2001 IN HELENA...

JANUARY 2001 AVERAGED NEAR NORMAL IN TEMPERATURES...AS SOME SNOW
COVER KEPT TEMPERATURES BELOW FREEZING FOR MOST OF THE MONTH.

A BRIEF WARM UP OCCURRED DURING THE FIRST THREE DAYS OF
FEBRUARY...CAUSED BY GUSTY WEST WINDS. BUT A POTENT BLAST OF
CANADIAN AIR MOVED INTO HELENA ON FEBRUARY 6TH. TEMPERATURES STAYED
AT OR BELOW FREEZING THROUGH THE 17TH...WITH OCCASIONAL SNOW SHOWERS
FALLING DURING THIS PERIOD. THERE WERE 11 DAYS WHEN THE TEMPERATURE
DROPPED TO ZERO OR BELOW...THE MOST FOR A FEBRUARY SINCE 1989.
FEBRUARY WOULD BE THE ONLY MONTH TO AVERAGE COOLER THAN NORMAL IN
2001.

MARCH CAN HAVE A WIDE RANGE OF TEMPERATURES AS THE TRANSITION TO
SPRING BEGINS. BUT MARCH OF 2001 DISAPPOINTED IN THIS REGARD. HIGH
TEMPERATURES STAYED BETWEEN FREEZING AND 60 FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH.

THE FIRST HALF OF APRIL WAS COOL AND WET WITH A FEW INCHES OF SNOW
FALLING ON THE 2ND. BUT HELENA BROKE INTO THE 70S ON THE 17TH AND
18TH...AND THEN THE 80S ON THE 26TH THROUGH THE 28TH. A LONG AND HOT
SUMMER WAS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.

MAY WAS THE 4TH HOTTEST ON RECORD. WHEN THE THERMOMETER HIT 92 ON
MAY 12TH...IT BECAME THE 2ND EARLIEST 90 DEGREE DAY ON RECORD IN
HELENA. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ON THE 28TH DOUSED HELENA WITH
OVER AN INCH OF RAIN. SOME HAIL FELL IN EAST HELENA FROM THIS STORM.

JUNE BEGAN WITH COOL MOIST SYSTEMS DUMPING RAIN IN THE VALLEY AND
SNOW IN THE MOUNTAINS. THE 1.15 INCHES OF RAIN THAT FELL ON THE 3RD
MADE IT THE WETTEST DAY IN NEARLY 3 YEARS. HOT WEATHER RETURNED
TOWARDS THE END OF THE MONTH...AND THE MERCURY REACHED 95 ON THE
22ND. EVEN WITH THE COOL BEGINNING...JUNE FINISHED AS THE 11TH
HOTTEST ON RECORD.

JULY WAS THE 4TH HOTTEST ON RECORD. THE MONTH STARTED WITH A HIGH IN
THE 90S ON 10 OF THE FIRST 12 DAYS...AND THE 2 THAT FAILED STILL
REACHED 89. EVEN WITH THE HEAT...SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MANAGED
TO PRODUCE NEARLY 2 INCHES OF RAIN DURING THE MONTH. BY THE END OF
JULY...HELENA WAS ABOVE NORMAL IN PRECIPITATION FOR THE YEAR.

AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER WERE THE HOTTEST ON RECORD. 7 RECORD HIGHS WERE
SET IN AUGUST. THE HIGH WAS AT LEAST 80 EVERY DAY IN THE MONTH...THE
FIRST TIME THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED IN AUGUST. A COLD LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM DUMPED OVER AN INCH OF RAIN ON HELENA ON THE 5TH AND 6TH.
ELEVATIONS ABOVE 6000 FEET SAW SOME SNOW MIXED IN ON THE MORNING OF
THE 6TH.

A PROLONGED COOLER THAN NORMAL PERIOD BEGAN ON OCTOBER 2ND...AND A
SERIES OF CANADIAN COLD FRONTS KEPT TEMPERATURES NEAR NORMAL THROUGH
THE 25TH. FROM THIS POINT...TEMPERATURES REMAINED ABOVE NORMAL FOR
THE REST OF THE YEAR WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS.

THE LONGEST DRY SPELL OF THE YEAR HIT IN NOVEMBER...WHEN MEASURABLE
PRECIPITATION WAS NOT RECORDED UNTIL THE 26TH. LIGHT SNOW ON THE
25TH AND 26TH PROVIDED THE 0.14 INCHES OF PRECIPITATION THAT WAS
RECORDED DURING THE MONTH. NOVEMBER ENDED AS THE 10TH WARMEST ON
RECORD.

THE FIRST 2 WEEKS OF DECEMBER WERE SIMILAR TO NOVEMBER...DRY AND
WARM. HELENA TURNED COLD ON THE 21ST...AND LOW CLOUDS AND FOG KEPT
THE VALLEY BELOW FREEZING FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR.

DAILY TEMPERATURE RECORDS SET OR TIED IN 2001...

DATE     RECORD   VALUE    OLD RECORD
MAY 12    HIGH      92      88 (1960)
MAY 13    HIGH      89      85 (1903)
MAY 22    HIGH      86      86 (1928)
MAY 23    HIGH      89      89 (1886)
MAY 24    HIGH      93      86 (1922 1999)
JUL 3     HIGH      97      97 (1989)
JUL 4     HIGH      97      97 (1937 1954 1985)
AUG 3     HIGH     102     101 (1961)
AUG 7     HIGH     100     100 (1990)
AUG 17    HIGH      98      97 (1906)
AUG 18    HIGH     100      95 (1964 1967 1986)
AUG 22    HIGH      96      94 (1969 1991 1995)
AUG 26    HIGH      95      94 (1894 1996)
AUG 27    HIGH      98      95 (1924)
SEP 3     HIGH      96      96 (1967)
SEP 24    HIGH      87      86 (1990)
SEP 25    HIGH      95      88 (1994)
OCT 1     HIGH      87      87 (1997)
OCT 27    HIGH      76      75 (1891)
NOV 5     HIGH      68      66 (1934)
NOV 9     HIGH      63      62 (1958 1971 1989)
NOV 14    HIGH      65      65 (1894 1899 1975)


POMEROY


Webmaster
US Dept of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Great Falls Weather Forecast Office
5324 Tri-Hill Frontage Rd
Great Falls, MT 59404-4933

Tel: (406) 453-2081

Disclaimer
Information Quality
Credits
Glossary
Organization
Privacy Policy
Freedom of Information Act
About Us
Career Opportunities