December Temperature Record Smashed – National Weather Service
There has never been a warmer day in December in Missoula history than Wednesday, December 1 when the temperature soared to 67 degrees, setting a new record for Missoula.
Meteorologist Travis Booth said there were several warm weather marks set this week.
“For the past week, we've had four daily record highs broken in Missoula,” said Booth. “It started on Sunday with the high of 62, which shattered the old record by 10 degrees, and that continued on Monday with a high of 57. The most remarkable day was actually on Wednesday we reached a high of 67 degrees, and the previous daily record was 55. So we were just smashing those records.
However, Booth said the most momentous day was Wednesday, December 1.
“But even more noteworthy with that Wednesday high of 67 was that it actually set the highest temperature that we've recorded during the month of December in Missoula,” he said. “So previously, we had reached 60 degrees four different times in the month of December through the years 120 plus years of records. And we reached 67 on the first of December on Wednesday, so that’s quite remarkable.”
Lest anyone think that we have a balmy winter ahead, Booth said the weather is turning back to normal.
“I’m saying that we're transitioning pretty quickly right back into seasonal conditions,” he said. “It looks like we're probably going to have a chance of some valley snow on Monday, not a lot, just an inch or two but we certainly should have snow falling from the sky so the world of weather is a roller coaster.”
Booth said he fully expects a La Nina winter to develop soon.
“We’re expecting La Nina conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean which tends to drive the jet stream this far north, you know the polar jet change the orientation of it,” he said. “So, typically during these winters these La Nina condition winters we have wetter than normal conditions which translates into above normal snowpack by the time we get to those spring months, and as far as temperatures go, there's a leaning a toward colder than normal temperatures during these La Nina winters, but it's certainly not as strong of a correlation as the above normal precipitation.”
Booth said the new record set of 67 degrees on December 1 should stand for a long time.