After more than ten days of sub-zero temperatures and strong winds hammering southeastern Montana, there will be a warmer weekend in Fallon County.
According to forecasters, Baker and Fallon County were slowly starting a warming trend earlier in the week, but would climb to 31 degrees by Friday.
That warming trend would continue over the weekend, with climbing to just under 40 degrees over the weekend.
With a predicted high of 44 degrees Monday and 40 degrees Tuesday, the temperatures will be slowly dropping to 31 degrees by Friday (Feb. 26) and 27 degrees by Saturday (Feb. 27).
The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory through Tuesday (Feb. 16) for Fallon County which warned of wind chills between 20 and 30 degrees below zero through midday. It included Baker, Plevna, Webster, Ekalaka, Alzada, Hammond and Belltower.
The advisory also warned that the dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as ten minutes. The cold air would also be dangerous for young livestock and pets.
The region had hit a low of minus 42 degrees with windchill after midnight on Feb. 14, measured at the airport in Baker.
The wind chill would stay in the minus 30s for most of Saturday, Sunday and Monday until it started warming.
The Billings office also issued a warning of the problem created for rivers and streams in the region. “Arctic air in place over the region for the last several days has led to ice development on area rivers and streams. While temperatures will gradually warm this week, they are expected to stay below normal, allowing for further ice development. Ice jams can result in rapid water rises and localized flooding where they occur. Those with interests near rivers and streams should move equipment and livestock to higher ground, away from waterways and adjacent low lying areas. Once the ice becomes established on rivers and streams, the threat of flooding from ice jams will diminish,” the office explained in its hydrologic outlook.
The southeastern Montana area received some snowfall during early February, but most of the snow was focused more to the west. “Most locations across the west half of our forecast area received between 10 and 15 inches of snow. There were some higher reports, including 18 inches at Red Lodge and a few miles west of Reed Point. Eastern parts saw some snow but much less accumulation,” the office announced online.
The Billings office also stressed how cold the recent weather had been in the state. “Most locations saw high temperatures stay below zero for about a week. The string of seven straight days with highs below zero at Billings tied for third longest since records began in 1934, and was the longest since 1985. Baker Municipal Airport, a station with a period of record beginning in 1998, reported its overall record cold temp with -34 degrees.”
But in Montana, it was Ingomar that reported the coldest temperature when it recorded 44 degrees below zero. Roundup recorded a temperature that was one degree warmer, while Brandenberg had a minus 40 degree reading.
Mizpah, Hysham and Springdale recorded temperatures of minus 38 and minus 37 degrees.
Miles City ended the cold spell near record cold. The community had six straight days of high temperatures below zero and eight straight days of lows of minus 15 degrees or colder.