NWS says Record Cold and Strong Winds Strike Missoula
Senior Meteorologist Bob Nester with the National Weather Service Office in Missoula was ready and waiting for the call from KGVO News early Tuesday morning with details of the current cold snap.
“Of course, wind chill was the big story overnight,” began Nester. “After midnight winds started to increase. In Missoula (as of 3:00 a.m.) winds are gusting to right around 30 miles per hour, with east winds from 15 gusting to 30. Wind chills currently are 20 degrees below zero in Missoula, 15 below in Stevensville, and some widespread 15 to 20 below wind chills, except when you get to Butte and Deer Lodge where it’s much colder with wind chills ranging from 25 to 30 degrees below zero.”
Nester said the worst of the frigid conditions will continue through Tuesday morning.
“The coldest wind chills and the strongest winds will last though the morning hours,” he said. “Winds will continue this afternoon gusting around 20 miles per hour and that’s going to keep our wind chills down today anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees below zero throughout the entire day and evening hours.”
Nester focused on the unrelenting winds in the Missoula area.
“The winds at least in Missoula are going to persist through the evening hours,” he said. “Not quite as strong as this morning, but we will still experience wind gusts of 15 to 20 miles per hour through the entire evening, and they will not diminish until the middle of the night Tuesday night. But when they do diminish, we’ll be under clear skies with light winds and very cold temperatures tomorrow night. In fact, we’re looking at record low temperatures.”
Nester then revealed the lowest temperatures of the year so far in the Missoula area.
“Across all of western Montana, the temperatures through the night are going to dip down to anywhere from seven to 14 degrees below zero, except in some of our typically colder areas such as Butte, Seeley Lake and Georgetown Lake where overnight low temperatures will be anywhere from 15 to 25 degrees below zero.”
Nester wrapped up the conversation by stating the obvious, ‘this is definitely the coldest event of the year.’