By angelamontana

Posted: June 21, 2024

Summer begins on June 20th, but here in Big Sky Country, our Winter won’t leave. They always say that if you don’t like the weather here in Montana, just wait a while and it will change. 

I still remember waking up to a winter wonderland, in Madison Junction campground, on a chilly August day! My tent had 7 inches of wet snow atop it and nearly collapsed from the weight. By noon, we were back into t-shirts and shorts. 

Gardeners get so annoyed with late season frosts and snow. Our already short growing season gets even shorter thanks to late cold spells. Experienced gardeners say to wait until mid-June to plant your vegetables. Lawn trees also pay the price from multiple warm and cold spells that mimic a false Spring. Many trees fail to recover. 

Hanging plants needed to be sheltered or covered up. With the price of plants going up, garden damage from frost can be expensive. The Greenhouse stores may have a boost in sales as new replacement plants will be needed.

The recent snow and cold impacted NW and SW Montana the most. Big Sky and the Bridgers in Bozeman meant more skiing time. Several June skiers were injured on Sacajawea Peak and had to be helicoptered to the hospital. I know several hardcore ski bums that brag about skiing year around in SW Montana. 

Fishermen are complaining that the cold spell happened just as the Salmonfly Hatch was beginning. Water temperatures and flows have changed again turning off the bite. The hatches will happen more sporadically now. More high-country snow also means a longer melt/runoff. This is good for later summer water levels and temperatures, but hatches and water levels are affected.

Wild game is also impacted by these late snows and cold. New calves, chicks, and cubs are getting a cold shoulder thanks to this weather and more snow. The high country was beginning to green up but is now snow bound again. This makes food harder to find. Back country dirt roads are also muddier longer. 

The good news is that the weather pattern for the summer will soon warm up again. Next week looks nicer and the waters will recede again. One thing for sure is that in Montana, you could get snowed on anytime, anywhere. 

Check the weather before heading out!

Montana Grant

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