Jan 2, 2013 3:38 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

2012 one of the warmest on record for Western MT

MISSOULA- We might not have seen record hot weather in 2012, but the National Weather Service says when you take temperatures on average, last year was one of the warmest in recent decades in Western Montana.

NWS released the latest stats Tuesday showing in was one of the warmest years for the west half of the state since 1948 with temperatures in Missoula running almost two-degrees above averages recorded between 1981 and 2010. That makes it the fourth warmest since 1948.

Kalispell also experienced the warm spell, with average temps ranging 1.5-degrees above average, for the sixth warmest year since the late 1940s. Butte was third warmest since 1948.

And the warm weather impacted Kalispell's snowfall as well. For the calendar year of 2012, Kalispell's 35.8-inches of total snow was the 2nd lowest on record since 1948, more than 13-inches below average. By contrast, Missoula's snowfall was 11-inches above normal, pushed by several major snow events including the blizzards last January.

Both Kalispell and Missoula had above average precipitation.

Missoula's highest snowfall day was during the storm that dumped over 8-inches of snow in just a few hours on December 18th. The hottest day was when the temperature hit 100 on August 8th with the coldest day during those storms last January, when the temperature hit zero.

Kalispell received the most snow, 2.8", on January 18th with July 9th the hottest day at 95-degrees. The coldest day in the Flathead was also on January 24th when it dropped to -1.

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