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Weather Challenge: October 25 in Montana

I’m still recovering from being offline for a week, so it is time for me to renew my contribution to the weather challenge, with only 6 days left in the month.

The last several days have been mostly sunny, with a sprinkle now and then. It was toasty yesterday, reaching into the high 60° F range (20° C). The nights have been getting down to around freezing, which is very normal for this time of year here. Today’s high is supposed to reach 64°, which is below the record by quite a bit but is a little above average.

There is supposed to be a substantial change tonight, though, as cold, damp air moves into the region. The forecast is for rain, turning to snow. The temperature is due to drop to about 24° and we are supposed to get 20 MPH winds. Areas east of us are under a wind advisory for winds of 30 and gusts of 40. 

Again, this isn’t at all unusual for this time of year, and well off the mark for either record highs and lows. The forecast for tomorrow is for wet snow, most of the day.

The interesting part is that the maples, poplars, aspens, apples, plums, and cherries are just now really starting to change to the golds and reds of autumn. The leaves are beginning to fall, too. This means that it is a fairly good chance that our neighbor’s maple trees will drop most of their leaves while they are still green. The last time that happened here, we had several feet of snow on the ground by late December. It will be interesting to see if the same thing happens this year. 

The larch trees on the mountainside are already golden. 

The picture is from Lolo Pass, Montana, at an elevation of 5,230 feet. There is snow on the pass, but it is melting rapidly with temperatures of 45°. When the snowstorms hit, this pass will probably get substantially more snow and water on the road will freeze. 

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Written by Rex Trulove

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