Though it may have felt at times like summer was quickly fading this month, the National Weather Service said Kalispell is not far off of previous years’ average temperatures, but it has had elevated precipitation levels.
Meteorologist Bob Nester said the average temperature for the Kalispell area this time of year is 81 degrees. As of last week, the average maximum the valley has experienced has been 79.8 degrees.
But the averages figure in both low and high temperatures. Nester said the valley is “well below” the usual August highs, coming in at 76.3 degrees. The average of prior years is at 80.8 degrees.
Rain levels this summer have more than doubled the averages from past years, with 3.92 inches since July 1. The average is 1.68 inches. Nester said this accumulation is the most the valley has seen since 1993, when it received over 6 inches of rain in the two-month period.
The slightly cooler temperatures and elevated rain levels are typical characteristics of the El Niño weather pattern, Nester said. He said meteorologists are expecting El Niño to continue and strengthen throughout winter, which could cause less snowfall in the mountains.
The recent rainstorms have dampened most of the valley’s forests enough to quell any wildland fires, forestry officials reported last week. Missoula received record rainfall recently, receiving more than two inches in one day. Officials said it was the first time that happened in 82 years.
But don’t expect summer to give up its hold on the valley too quickly. Nester predicted warmer temperatures, some including thunderstorms, through the end of the month.
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