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More than a dozen communities across central and Eastern Montana saw record-high daily temperatures on Wednesday.

Ten of the 14 records broke or tied old ones set for Jan. 4 in 2008. Billings saw a high of 56 degrees, topping the old high of 55.

Other new daily high temperatures, all breaking records set in 2008, were Miles City with 57, Dillon with 47, Havre with 60, Sidney at 56, Jordan at 59, Bredette with 50, Malta with 56 and Opheim with 49 degrees, according to the National Weather Service's Billings office.

Bozeman tied a record of 52 degrees. Lewistown set a new daily high of 59, breaking the old one of 55 set in 1938.

In Great Falls, the weather service reported a high of 59, breaking the old record of 58 set in 1984. White Sulfur Springs set a new Jan. 4 high of 53, topping a record set that same year, while Townsend broke an 18-year-old record with a high of 59 degrees.

Todd Chambers, an NWS meteorologist in Billings, said the unseasonably high temperatures are the result of a high-pressure ridge over the area meeting up with gusty winds coming off of western mountain slopes.

"The other thing is we have no snow cover," he said. "So the ground is bare and, starting off warm like we did today, no snow cover means it's less likely to cool down when that wind comes over it."

Chambers said most of Thursday will likely be the same, including the possibility of daily record high temperatures, before a front pushes through the region later in the afternoon, bringing with it possible rain showers.

The showers could continue into Friday, which has expected high temperatures of 35 to 40 degrees.

 

 

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