Extreme Weather GSM 

Late-April in Montana: First a Blizzard, then some Record-Setting Cold — Grand Solar Minimum

Sunday’s late-season blizzard officially brought 3.2 inches of snow to Great Falls, with drifts of up to 2 feet widely reported. Lewistown saw 4 inches of snow, and more than 18 inches were reported to have fallen four miles south of Monarch.

All that powder was one thing, but once the clouds cleared, temperatures dropped like a stone.

On Monday, April 29 both Lewistown and Great Falls set all-time record lows for the day.

The mercury plunged to -10.6C (13F) in Great Falls breaking the old record of -10C (14F) set back in 1978 (during solar minimum of cycle 20).

And it sunk colder still in Lewiston, enough to cancel school even, with their official measurement of -12.2C (10F) toppling a record that stood for some 116 years; the -11.1C (12F) from 1903 (solar minimum of cycle 13).

“On calm, clear nights, especially with snow on the ground, any solar radiation absorbed during the day is immediately reflected back out at night. That allows us to cool extremely rapidly,” said Christian Cassell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Great Falls.

Cassell is calling for another cold front to hit over the weekend.

The cold times are already here in Montana.


Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift


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