High and low temperature data in Havre from the last nine days shows a record heat-wave last week, but more wintry weather is on the way.
After a week’s break in the weather — with unseasonably warm days including a new record high set Friday — the weather looks to turn back to colder days and snow.
The National Weather Service this morning issued a winter storm advisory starting Wednesday for northern Montana including Blaine, Hill and Liberty counties, and a winter storm warning above 5,000 feet and and advisory below that elevation for areas south including Chouteau County.
Although the specific local forecasts are for lighter precipitation, the advisories call for snow accumulation from 3 to 6 inches and the warning for accumulations of 6 to 12 inches above 5,000 feet.
North-central Montana had a bite of winter a little more than a week ago, with a skiff of snow and temperatures dropping below zero, but the last week has been mild, aside from some high winds.
A new record high was set for Havre Wednesday, with the temperature of 65 degrees beating the previous high of 62 degrees, set in 1942.
Sunday’s high of 62 nearly was a record, just missing the highest temperature of 63 set in 1949.
That was a sharp reversal from the previous week, when the temperatures Nov. 20 hit a chilly minus 13 at 5:26 a. m. — still a far cry from the record low of minus 33 set in 1896.
The weather stayed mild, with some cold nights, since last Tuesday, although the other daily highs did not come near the records.
But the mild weather is expected to shift after tonight.
The Weather Service is predicting a storm pattern to blow into the state, bringing gusty winds, colder temperatures and snow, with the advisory and warning in effect from 8 a. m. through 11 p. m. Wednesday.
The heaviest snow actually is expected in the southern part of the state, with 5 to 10 inches of snow expected in the Red Lodge area and 12 to 18 inches in the northern Beartooth and Absarokee mountains near Cook City.
The weather is expected to stay chillier in north-central Montana with a slight chance of snow through the next several days.
For Havre, the forecast high for today was 52 degrees, with a low of 30 and a chance of rain and snow after 11 p. m.
The forecast high for Wednesday is 35, but that is expected to drop to 25 degrees by 5 p. m. and a low of 11, with winds gusting into the 30-mph-range bringing wind chills as low as -1, and 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulation possible.
Similar weather is forecast through the region, from Chester to Harlem and south to Big Sandy.
The weather is expected to break a bit, with sunny weather and highs in the low 30s forecast for Thursday and partly cloudy skies and highs in the upper 30s expected for Friday.
The weather service is forecasting cooler weather after that, with highs in the region running from the 20s to low 30s and lows in the teens to single digits over the weekend.