April is off to a much warmer, sunnier start than last month. March of 2019 was one of the coldest Marches ever on record for Montana. For much of southwest Montana, it was the coldest March ever. The warmest temperature of the month was 75 in Yaak on the 25th, the coldest temperature of the month was -46 in Elk Park on the 3rd. The difference of 121 degrees is the greatest since March of 1978. Countless record cold was set throughout the month, including coldest temperature ever recorded in the month of March for several cities. The -46 in Elk Park was the coldest temperature ever recorded in Montana during the month. While precipitation was generally below average across the state, southwest Montana had above average snow. Helena set a new record for consecutive days with 12″ of snow on the ground, with that occurring for 20 straight days. Oddly enough, this past March was the calmest March ever on record with an average wind speed of 7.2mph.
April has had two beautiful days to start out, but clouds and showers will make for a gray Wednesday. A weak area of low pressure will kick off scattered showers with some snow mixing down to around 5000′. Highs will be in the 40s to around 50. Thursday will be one of the warmer days we’ve seen in months as temperatures will come close to 60 for the first time since the end of October. Friday will be an unsettled spring day with showers, thunderstorms and some snow in the higher mountains. Sunshine will poke through the clouds at times as well. The first weekend of April will be rather stormy with a mix of rain and snow Saturday morning close to the Continental Divide and in the mountains. Rain will fall over the plains, and thunderstorms will crank up in eastern Montana by the afternoon. Look for some clearing through Saturday afternoon and evening, making for a better opportunity to be outside. West wind will howl as well throughout the state. Sunday will start out with a little sunshine, but showers and storms will develop over western Montana later in the day. Watch out for some of these showers coming east of the Divide through the afternoon and evening. Sunday will also be a windy day. Wet weather will continue Monday and could mix with snow on Tuesday.
Have a great day.