Weather Wise: The Windy Season

Great Falls neighborhood overwhelmed with tumbleweeds (October 2023)
Tumbleweeds in Great Falls - October 17, 2023
Great Falls neighborhood overwhelmed with tumbleweeds (October 2023)
Posted at 6:47 PM, Nov 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-13 20:48:36-05

Montana has been a “wind-er wonderland” recently and it's all about the timing. The frequency of powerful gusts has increased so that nobody's patio furniture has been safe.

While windy conditions also happen in the spring, summer, and earlier in the fall, the average wind speed across Montana increases through October and November.

During the fall, as cold air pushes south, the strength of the jet stream increases over the United States as the difference in temperature increases from north to south.

A stronger jet stream can help create stronger areas of low pressure and more wind.

As the jet stream drops further south and storms track just to the north of Montana, this position along with the Continental Divide combine to create potentially damaging wind events.

Most of Montana, including Helena and Great Falls, historically has their strongest average daily wind speed from late November, through December into January.

Wind speeds begin to ease up later in winter and through the spring, and average wind speed is at a minimum in July and August.

So the windy season is just getting started, and it likely won't be a breeze.


Great Falls neighborhood overwhelmed with tumbleweeds