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Old 03-07-2011, 08:01 PM
 
307 posts, read 832,155 times
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WOW....Thanks for the plethora of hearty responses! Real nice to hear from those familiar with Ft. Collins area, that was great insight. I seem to understand, that even the mildest places in MT are still colder, cloudier and snowier than Ft. Collins area? Except for the Billings area? oldtrader said that they felt that this area may be the mildest. But I also see from research that those areas west of the Divide, namely the Valleys, seem to be fairly mild, probably due to the Pacific climate. However, those areas are also very cloudy and probably still colder than Ft. Collins. As well as there is overcrowding. Hmmmmm alot to consider.

When I look up average temperatures it seems that they are mostly around 12 to 35 degrees in January. Ft. Collins was around 15 to 42 degrees it seems. The pervasively clowdy days West of the Divide/NW MT seems discouraging. I have a friend here in town that moved here from Kalispell because his wife could not take the constant clowdiness. Is that everywhere west of the Divide?

No one has mentioned the Helena or Bozeman area. How does that compare with weather and people/crowding/culture etc.? I was orginally looking into Great Falls/Billings areas, but felt that they might be to severe, especially Great Falls? Guess Billings is especially milder.

I would love to visit first, and it would most definitely be ideal but it is impossible. Thats why I must collect as much help and info as possible, and I surely appreciate all the advice I have thus far received.

Last edited by countryway; 03-07-2011 at 08:09 PM..
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:39 PM
 
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Countryway, we all do what we must, but you're taking a big chance if you're moving to Montana (or Idaho) "cold" without having visited first. Second best, in that case, is to remain mobile, not to buy property or sign long-term contracts until you've been in the area for a while, and have traveled a bit and taken a look at other locations.

As much as I'd like to chime in and call the beautiful stretch along the Clark Fork River--Thompson Falls, Plains, Trout Creek etc.--a "banana belt," that is a very relative term. And since we have property on that stretch, on the ID/MT border, I am particularly partial to that area. Temperatures are kept somewhat milder because of (supposedly) the vast reservoirs on the river--but it still gets cold and snowy! To my knowledge there isn't any place in Montana that has as mild winters as Boise and Lewiston in Idaho, and with some sunny days in winter. So it's going to be a trade-off no matter how you look at it. (I know you're also looking at Idaho as a second choice.) I would agree with Redraven--find work first, and let the work decide where you'll be going...
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:30 PM
 
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Go to Weather.com and click on more maps and select current temperatures. It will show you the temperatures around the nation.

You will see that Billings temperatures are about like the front range, currently a couple degrees warmer. Note how the temperatures are for the other parts of the state. Note as I told you, the North West Corner of the state is the coldest and most unpopulated. Also note that Billings is a little warmer than the western half of the state. These are kind of average. Check every few days to be able to see the patterns.

Go to: Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed This will allow you to find the different cities in a state so you can find out about the weather there. It will give you a good chance to check out the area.

It will not cover all cities, but it will give you a basis for that part of the state.

Last edited by Yac; 04-19-2011 at 04:36 AM..
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Old 03-08-2011, 07:54 PM
 
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I'm not convinced that actual winter temperatures in Billings are much warmer than the western part of the state, but it's definitely sunnier, so a lot of days feel warmer, and there is usually less snow. Billings winters remind me more of Denver winters, so they might be more like you're used to.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,293 posts, read 3,327,207 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countryway View Post
WOW.............................."No one has mentioned the Helena or Bozeman area. How does that compare with weather and people/crowding/culture etc.?...................."

I would love to visit (Montana areas) first, and it would most definitely be ideal but it is impossible. Thats why I must collect as much help and info as possible, and I surely appreciate all the advice I have thus far received.
Two comments:
1/ Definitely rule out Bozeman.....from what you have posted...it would not be a "good-fit". The Helena area may be a possibility...I said "maybe"!!!

2/ If you can't visit.......then DEFINITELY RENT --in 2 or 3 different areas for a combined time frame of a total of 12 months. so you can educate yourself regarding what different areas have to offer re weather; cost of living; density of people; culture etc,etc,etc.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
Two comments:
1/ Definitely rule out Bozeman.....from what you have posted...it would not be a "good-fit". The Helena area may be a possibility...I said "maybe"!!!

2/ If you can't visit.......then DEFINITELY RENT --in 2 or 3 different areas for a combined time frame of a total of 12 months. so you can educate yourself regarding what different areas have to offer re weather; cost of living; density of people; culture etc,etc,etc.
Appreciate the response regarding Bozeman/Helena. Yeah, I kinda get the impression that Bozeman would not be a good fit either. I am looking into Helena currently. I am definitely going to rent. And it would be nice to narrow it down to a "right" place up front but I understand that when coming to a new state moving around is important, to find the exact place that in comfortable for my needs/desires. Around Helena I am looking into Townsend and Boulder.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:12 PM
 
307 posts, read 832,155 times
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I appreciate the Weather Links, they will prove very helpful. I am definitely going to rent first and see how I like the areas. I agree that is the way to go in a new State/area. I am still looking into the Billings area as well as Great Falls and now Helena. I feel like the Great Falls area might be a whole lot colder than Billings, plus Billings might have more resources. However, I am still undecided. Thanks for all the imput so far, feel free to comment more if you feel moved to.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:16 AM
 
213 posts, read 596,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countryway View Post
I feel like the Great Falls area might be a whole lot colder than Billings, plus Billings might have more resources. However, I am still undecided. Thanks for all the imput so far, feel free to comment more if you feel moved to.
Great Falls will be a bit colder, it is also very windy there so it feels even colder.
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Old 03-10-2011, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,820 posts, read 15,437,707 times
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I moved here (Helena) from North Central WV last April. I had never been to Montana before. We have relatives in Estes Park and Longmont CO..

North Central WV suffers from cold, damp, cloudy late falls and winters. Last year we had over 90" of wet, heavy snow. The county to the east picked up 280". A lot of the roads in the mountains were impassable for months. It was a damp, grey, nasty winter.

Now my first winter here. A lot of folks said this was a 'harder' winter in some time. In my opinion it wasn't bad at all. The snow is passable, dry and LIGHT. No problems shoveling whatever you get. I was surprised it was a little more cloudy or grey than what I expected- definately not as clear and blue as Estes Park or Ft. Collins, but it was not nearly as bad as a typical North Central WV winter. No way, not even close.

Yes it is cold- but I had zero problems being active in it. It's not a damp, sink into your bones and stay there cold. If the wind is up- yes it's damned cold, but it's easily warded off with proper clothing.

There is no 'freaking out' about the weather here. Big bonus . Just go out and be happy. Kids played outside even with zero temps. Hoorah!

In my opinion- this years winter in Helena was DELIGHTFUL compared to some of the crap we went through in WV.

Now I just went to Havre and points east on the High-Line over the past couple days- they got WHACKED with snow. Still 3-4 foot pack in places east of Havre. And it was cold..

If I lived in Havre, I may have a wholly different opinion on this matter. However as for Helena- I'm totally digging the seasons here. As a matter of fact, sometimes I wish there was more snow on the ground. I have to go to MacDonald pass to snowshoe and what have you.. Oh well- that's only minutes away!
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Pluto's Home Town
9,995 posts, read 11,641,669 times
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Default Western Regional Climate Center

The Western Regional Climate Center has data for the whole western US.

Western Regional Climate Center

Click on historical climate information and you can find a ton of info for the whole region.


Generally, I would say that Montana is cold and the winters long. Far colder than the Front Range/Plains of NE Colorado. A magnificent state, to be sure, but if you don't like cold, I don't know how to sugarcoat it.

For me personally, I like a cold winter. A long one, less so. They are correlated, of course, but continental areas (say Pennsylvania) can have nippy winters, but they are not too long. The nature of the altitude and the storm tracks of the N. Rockies are such that storms march through right up until June. Have you considered Northern New Mexico (e.g. Las Vegas area)? Shorter winters and much more sun, but still great mountain scenery. For me, the benefits of Montana could well outweigh the long winters, but then I really don't mind the cold that much.
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