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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Kyle Vuille photo

Frosty Friday follows weird October temps

By Jason Stuart

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Local residents awoke Friday morning to the first snow of the season, with a thin layer of fine powder covering the ground, heralding more snow and cold to follow in the coming days and closing the book on what was a whacky month of weather in October.

October 2017 was a particularly strange month for weather across the region, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Brandon Bigelbach with the weather service’s Glasgow reporting station, especially where temperatures from day to day were concerned, with high temperatures in Glendive being over 80 on one day and then in the 40s a couple of days later.

“I think across the whole region, the temperatures were a little bit more stable that first half of (October), then you had this crazy roller coaster the rest of the month,” Bigelbach said. “October as a whole was a little bit warmer than usual, but there were some wild swings.”

October started out relatively cool and then largely heated up as the month wore on. The hottest day was Oct. 21, with a high of 83 degrees, which tied a Glendive record for the high temperature on that day, previously hit in 2003 and 1940. The average high temperature for Glendive for this October ended up being 63 degrees, which Bigelbach noted is about three degrees above normal.

When it comes to precipitation, October did nothing to help pull the area out of its lingering drought, instead adding to the growing precipitation deficit. A scant 0.24 inches of precipitation fell on Glendive this October, nearly an inch below the 1.06 inches the area typically averages for the month. According to Bigelbach, to date Glendive has received 8.89 inches of precipitation this year, nearly four full inches below the year-to-date average of 12.72 inches. At present, Glendive is on pace for its 10th driest year since record keeping began, Bigelbach noted.

While October ended up being abnormally hot and dry, November is starting out relatively damp and a little colder than usual. 

The snowstorm moving through the region on Friday and Saturday was just the beginning of a cold, wintry start to the month. The weather service was predicting the Friday-Saturday storm would drop about an inch of snow in the Glendive area, with the potential for up to 3 inches. Bigelbach also noted that Glendive has a “genuine chance” of getting more snow on Monday, with the forecast currently predicting about an inch.

Temperatures are also forecast to continue dropping over the next few days before returning more to normal by the end of this coming week.

“We will be getting a little cold after (Friday and Saturday’s storm system),” said weather service meteorologist Steve Templer.

Templer said that low temperatures in the Glendive area will drop into the mid teens on Saturday and Sunday night, then plunge to single digits on Monday night. By Tuesday, the lows will be back into the mid teens as a ridge of high pressure is forecast to move back over the area, leading to warmer temperatures.

“It looks like we’re going to get a high pressure ridge in by the middle of next week and return us back to normal,” Templer said.

Reach Jason Stuart at rrreporter@rangerreview.com.

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