Why Such a Chilly Winter? - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Why Such a Chilly Winter?

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This week the groundhog saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter, and the rodent was right! Temperatures in Montana dropped down to below zero this week making the Treasure State the coldest in the country.

Even places known for warm weather, like hot Atlanta, were frozen in place with snow and ice, so why such a cold winter this year?

"Basically what we have seen this winter is called a blocking pattern where the winds in the upper atmosphere get stuck in the same pattern over and over again. That results in warm, dry conditions over California and to the west and much colder, wet conditions over the Great Lakes, Chicago for example is well above in snowfall levels," says National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Foltz.

Simply, with this area of low pressure, we are feeling colder air moving in from the North. What exactly does that mean for Montana?

"Here in Montana we have been on the edge of that blocking pattern. We have been in the battle ground between the cold air and the warm air," adds Foltz.

Is spring on the way to save those of us weary of the cold weather?

"It is definitely going to feel much warmer. Hopefully, we will start to see some of that snow pack start to melt off of the roads making travel conditions better. There is some light at the end of the tunnel."

So hang in there. Warmer days are coming.

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