Slightly cooler, drier June wraps up, hot temperatures on the way

2014-07-02T16:15:00Z 2014-07-03T00:37:58Z Slightly cooler, drier June wraps up, hot temperatures on the wayBy ZACH BENOIT zbenoit@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

The month of June wasn't too hot, or too cold, and it finished a little drier than normal.

"I think there's kind of a perception that it was cool and windy in June," said Brian Tesar, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Billings. "However, the numbers don't really point to that. It's kind of unremarkable."

The mean temperature in Billings for the month was 62.4 degrees, 2.3 degrees cooler than normal while the average high was 73.5, about 3.7 degrees cooler than usual.

June 9 and 20 saw the warmest temperature of the month, 83 degrees, while the coolest came on June 7 with 41 degrees.

Those temperatures make it the 24th coolest in 80 years of record keeping.

"We didn't really have any real hot temperatures but it wasn't necessarily real cool, either," Tesar said.

Precipitiation-wise, the 2.12 inches — 0.37 less than normal — that fell made it the 40th-wettest June on record in Billings. June 17 to 18 saw the most in a 24-hour period, with 0.55 inches.

Trace amounts of snow fell on the June 4 and 14, bringing to a conclusion the snowiest season — the NWS records yearly totals from July 1 to June 30 — in Billings's recorded history, which saw 103.5 inches fall.

Tesar said that, while there were a handful of windy days through the month, June wasn't overly windy, with an average speed of 9.6 mph, making it the 30th-least windiest since record keeping began in 1934. The highest wind and gust speeds, 43 and 52 mph, both came on the 28th.

Communities in the region saw similar weather for the month as well. Miles City's mean temperature was 62.9 degrees, a little less than three cooler than normal, and an average high of 74.6. Its 4.29 inches of precipitation were 1.78 more than normal, making it the 15th wettest June in Miles City's history.

In Livingston, the mean temperature of 58.4 made it the 22nd coldest June in recorded history. The average high was 71.6 and 2.3 inches of precipitation fell, which is less than a tenth of an inch less than normal.

To the south, Sheridan, Wyo., reported a mean of 58.9 degrees, 2.7 degrees colder than normal and the 19th coldest in 108 years. The 2.2 inches precipitation that fell were 0.08 more than usual and resulted in the 44th wettest June there.

Looking ahead to July, Tesar said it'll start off much warmer than the month before.

"It certainly looks like the pattern is going to be a bit more summer-like," he said. "At least the for the first part of July, it looks like we'll be getting into the 90s and cooler days, when we drop down, might be more brief."

Thursday's predicted high temperature of 92 degrees is the first of at least four straight days for which the NWS predicts highs in the low-to-mid 90s.

The average high for July is 86.8 degrees. Usually, about 1.3 inches of precipitation fall as well.

Tesar said it's tough to predict how the weather will impact what can be a busy wildfire season in Montana. He noted that the late winter and early spring moisture means that potential fuels, such as grasses, have grown up higher than usual.

"Wind and hot temperatures can change all that real fast," he said. "It's probably 505/50. There's really no indication one way or another."

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