BILLINGS – Montanans in the northeast corner of the state are experiencing the coldest temperatures in the lower 48 states currently.
Antelope, which is eight miles south of Plentywood, is locking in a temperature of -50 and that is without wind chill.
Considering the cold, Rebecca Sexton, a dispatcher with the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office, said emergency responders haven’t been having to race to any major emergencies due to the cold temperatures.
Still, the weather is not easy to deal with. Sexton said many people have a hard time starting their cars.
“Not too many issues other than that,” said Sexton.
Those with the National Weather Service out of Glasgow said this is the coldest temperature of the year, but it’s not a record.
Meteorologist Brad Mickelson explains the temperature is reading from a weather station that is set up roughly two miles west of Antelope.
The station took the 50 below reading this morning- without the wind chill.
“It doesn’t record the wind. That was straight temperature,” he said.
Mickelson said another small area of Montana right near the Canadian border also read -50.
How did it get so cold?
Mickelson said clear skies, fresh snow on the ground and an arctic blast of cold air from Canada is the perfect recipe for the chilling temperature.
Sexton said the area was issued a weather advisory until Sunday, where the temperature is supposed to let up to -35 degrees.
She said Friday morning in her commute, there was fog and the temperature gauge on her car read -40 degrees.
Then the fog lifted, but the cold never did.
“This is the coldest of the season,” said Mickelson.
He said the National Weather Service was expecting this cold to come in and he said, it will gradually get a bit warmer. Next week the area will only see maybe a high of zero degrees with temperatures lingering in the -20 range.
Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News