It’s not your imagination: It’s been an unusually cool Montana May. That’s about to change in a big way.

A high-pressure system building over western Montana will lead to temperatures warming to near 90 degrees by Friday. That’s 15-20 degrees above normal for this time of the year according to National Weather Service-Missoula meteorologist Jeff Kitsmiller.

Widespread heavy rain showers are rolling through Montana Monday evening. They are expected to intensify through the week, meaning rivers and streams will soon be on the rise.

Steady rain and driving rain storms will be the predominant weather throughout the northern Rockies this week, according to National Weather Service-Missoula hydrologist Ray Nicolas.

The spring weather that brought Montana plenty of sunshine and afternoon highs in the upper 60s this week is about to be replaced with something very different. National Weather Service Meteorologist Travis Booth says a blast of wintery weather moves into Montana tonight.

Montana is edging closer to the spring runoff season. Scientists now have a better idea of what our mountain snowpack will yield this spring and summer.

Western Montana’s winter is a paradox this year. On the one hand it’s been a season of near-record warmth. On the other, mountain snowpack currently ranges from normal to slightly above normal.

Winter, meanwhile, is about to throw another twist our way.

Ethelyn Howard, wearing a reflective yellow vest and holding a stop sign, stands on the sidewalk next to a street crosswalk.
Kay Erickson / Yellowstone Public Radio

It has been a cold and snowy week for much of Montana, making it necessary for schools to change their routine.

An organization that runs warming centers for people experiencing homelessness in Bozeman and Livingston says it needs thousands of dollars in community donations, or they may have to close their doors during winter.

The Blackfeet Tribe and Montanans east of the Rocky Mountain Front are just beginning to dig out of a record-breaking early-season snowstorm. It'll take a few days for the snow to melt and things to return to normal. By Saturday morning, 20 inches of snow had already fallen on the Blackfeet Nation.

Unseasonably cold and wet weather is set to pummel Montana this weekend. The cold snap’s widespread impacts could possibly affect power lines, livestock and backcountry travelers. The next several days will make it feel like we bypassed autumn altogether and went straight to winter.

Enjoying these hot, late-summer days? If so, soak it in while you can. Fall-like weather is fast approaching.