GREAT FALLS — February 2020 was one day longer than February 2019, though I'm sure to most of us, last year felt much longer.
February 2019 brought record snow and bitterly cold temperatures, while 2020 was fairly mild.
Below you'll find a detailed comparison of the two months for 6 cities across North Central Montana.
February 2020 was on average over 30 degrees warmer than February 2019, with an average temperature of 30.0 degrees compared to -0.2 degrees.
The average February temperature in Great Falls since records have been kept is 27.3 degrees. The cold never let up in 2019, with 23 of 28 days dipping below zero, and minimum temperature of -23 degrees. The minimum temperature in 2020 was 2 degrees.
2019 was also much snowier. 32.3 inches of snow fell in the month, compared to 6.3 inches of snow in 2020. In an average February Great Falls sees 8.2 inches of snow.
February 2020 in Helena saw an average temperature that hovered right around freezing, at 31.8 degrees.
In 2019 the average temperature was much lower, 6.5 degrees, which is way below the normal average of 27.7 degrees. Additionally, in February 2019 temperatures in Helena fell below zero 18 times, falling as low as -20 degrees!
In 2020 the lowest recorded temperature was 8 degrees.
After topping two feet of snow in 2019, with 26.8 inches, Helena picked up only 2.8 inches of snow in 2020. That's below the normal mark of 5.0 inches.
Havre was bitterly cold in February 2019. The temperature was on average below zero, at -5.9 degrees. Temperatures fell below zero 25 out of 28 days, and hit a bone chilling -41 degrees at one point! In 2020, the average temperature was a mild 28.1 degrees, above the normal average of 22.2 degrees. Temperatures only fell below zero 3 times in 2020, and the coldest recorded temperature was -10.
Compared to other cities, Havre wasn't all that snowy in February 2019. The city picked up 18.0 inches of snow, which is still much higher than the average of 5.8 inches. 3.9 inches of snow fell in February 2020.
The monthly average temperature for February in Glasgow is usually only 19.2 degrees. In 2019, the average temperature was all the way down to -3.1 degrees, and in 2020 it was all the way up to 24.0 degrees. 2020 still had some cold stretches, with below zero temperatures recorded on 4 separate days, and a coldest reading of -11 degrees. Still, February 2020 was much worse, with 24 days falling below zero, and a minimum temperature of -32 degrees.
Both 2019 and 2020 had above average snowfall, but there's still a big difference between the two years. The usual snowfall in Glasgow is 4.4 inches. In 2020 5.8 inches fell, and in 2019 28.2 inches fell.
The average temperature for February 2019 was above zero in Lewistown, but barely, coming in at 1.8 degrees. In 2020 it was 25.9 degrees, very close to the usual mark of 25.7 degrees. The lowest recorded temperature in 2019 was -25 degrees, compared to -6 degrees in 2020.
In 2019 24 of 28 days fell below zero, compared to only 2 of 29 days in 2020. Snowfall records are not available at this time for Lewistown.
Cut Bank was another spot that was on average 30 degrees warmer in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020 the average temperature was 27.3 degrees, warmer than the normal monthly average of 24.2 degrees. The average monthly temperature for February 2019 was only -3.8 degrees. In 2019 the temperature fell as low as -33, with 25 days recording below zero temperatures.
The temperature still fell below zero in 2020, but only twice, with the lowest temperature being -7 degrees. Snowfall records are not available at this time for Cut Bank.