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Cold settles on the Hi-Line, warmer later this week

The cold weather carried over from a mostly cold, snowy December, with temperatures dropping this morning on the Hi-Line to single digits and even below zero with a chilly day expected and warmer weather not really predicted until the weekend.

It was a bit warmer in some spots - National Weather Service listed Big Sandy at about 20 degrees at 10:30 a.m. and it was a relatively balmy 29 near Hays - but Havre was at minus 4 degrees.

That follows a December mostly in the very cold regions, except right at Christmas.

In Havre, for example, Dec. 23 saw the coldest temperature in the state at minus 38, but it warmed to 9 below zero the morning of Dec. 24 and shot to 45 degrees Christmas Day.

And the snow has piled on. Havre saw a record 5.8 inches of snow last Wednesday, with the National Weather Service recording station at the Havre City-County Airport recording 32.7 inches of snow for the month. The normal snowfall for December for Havre is 8.2 inches.

And more is likely to come. The Climate Prediction Center of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, of which Weather Service is a part, predicts through March a 40 percent to 50 percent chance of below-normal temperatures for this region, with a 40 percent to 50 percent chance of above-normal precipitation.

On the Hi-Line, highs are expected to be in the teens with lows in the single digits through Thursday, although highs in the Little Rockies are expected to be in the 20s with lows in the teens.

Highs and lows are expected to be a little warmer near Big Sandy, with a forecast of 20 the high for Wednesday with a low of 5 and then a high of 16 Thursday but the high Friday expected to hit 35 degrees.

The southern Bear Paw Mountains also are expected to be warmer, with highs in the 30s or low 20s all week.


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