This summer the weather is getting nearly as much attention in Montana as a winter storm gets. Our region is under a heat advisory like much of the country has been for the past several weeks, and the latest from the US National Weather Service predicts that the heat will continue into next week.


These forecasts are valuable and important because they provide vital warnings, especially in this instance when the heat can cause significant health problems.

But sometimes, depending on where you get your weather information from, it seems like the forecasts aren't accurate. The forecast says rain but the rain doesn't come. Or you weren't expecting a snowstorm and then you're shoveling your driveway (and in Montana, that might happen in June).

Now, there's a map that gives an idea of how many days out a weather forecast is reliable.

The Washington Post's Forecast Accuracy Map

In a recent article from the Washington Post, their team used data from the National Weather Service to make a map showing how accurate weather forecasts are across the country. They looked at the weather during a one-year period and compared the forecast to the actual weather.

Using color, they depict where in the country a forecast is only accurate 2 days out (the Midwest) and where it's more likely to be accurate 7 days out (Florida).

SEE THE MAP: Washington Post's Weather Forecast Accuracy Map

What about Montana forecasts?

On this map, Montana is depicted in multiple colors, so depending on exactly where you are a forecast could be accurate anywhere from 2 to 6 days out. Western Montana appears to be accurate about 3 days out. Northwestern Montana is closer to 6 days. Eastern Montana only 2 days.

Keep reading to see a history of Montana's most extreme weather events.

Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events

Montana is named Big Sky Country for several reasons, not only grandiose Sunsets but impressive weather events as well! Ask any Montana resident who has scoffed at the idea of tossing a blanket or snow shovel in the trunk of the car ” just in case”. Here is a list of Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events

Gallery Credit: Brian Lee

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

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