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Weather Wise: Montana's Worst Weather

Weather Wise: Montana's Worst Weather
Posted at 5:50 PM, Aug 21, 2023

Montana is home to some wild, dangerous, and sometimes life-threatening weather. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms can threaten life and property. Severe blizzards and wind chills are also life-threatening. Just the cold can be life-threatening as Montana is home to the coldest temperature ever recorded in the lower 48 states. Earthquakes can be lethal, and major flooding threatens lives and property just about every year.

But last Friday, August 18 was some of the worst, most dangerous life-threatening weather that Montanans face.

Extreme heat and fire danger has the potential to cause serious harm to human life and is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.

Montana has had approximately 70 natural disaster declarations since the year 2000. Most of these are heat and/or fire related. There have been $13 billion wildfire disasters, with more than 50 wildfire disaster declarations in total.

Approximately 29% of all properties in the state are at high or extreme risk of wildfires, and another 25% are at moderate risk.

Hot, windy days should trigger a heightened sense of awareness here in Montana. Last Friday wildfires exploded in parts of Montana putting firefighter and civilian life at risk.

Near Spokane, Washington more than 200 structures were burned with one fatality because of the fires on Friday.

A red flag warning should get everyone's attention anytime one is issued, especially for conditions like last Friday.