By Rick and Susie Graetz
University of Montana, Department of Geography 

That time Montana hit 70 below ... and maybe colder


January 26, 2018

Rick and Susie Graetz

Rocky Mountain Front: A thirty below zero day on the Rocky Mountain Front forces a herd of cattle into a huddle while a new storm blows in, dropping the temperature even further.

Snow had been falling almost continuously for a week, and it was very cold. The temperature had only risen to minus 18 degrees. Finally, late in the day, the snow and wind stopped, skies cleared rapidly, and as the sun set the temperature plummeted. Early the next morning, on Jan. 20, 1954, the Montana and continental 48 states' record cold temperature of minus 70 degrees was observed at a mining camp near the Continental Divide a short distance from Rogers Pass near Helena. The reading was observed by one of the National Weather Service's cooperative observers.

The Rogers Pass weather stat...

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