For the second day in a row, Helena set a low temperature record Tuesday.
The temperature Tuesday morning dropped to 27 below zero. That is a new March 5 record, beating the previous record of minus 24 set in 1945, according to preliminary readings from the National Weather Service in Great Falls.
Monday also brought a record March 4 low of 30 below zero. That tied the all-time March record of minus 30 set in 1955.
Helena’s official weather recording station is at the Helena Regional Airport. With the Helena Valley prone to inversions, temperatures can vary widely across the area and include localized reports of temperatures several degrees colder than the official reading.
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The cold snap also featured Montana’s new all-time low for the month of March – a brutal 46 below zero temperature recorded at Elk Park north of Butte Monday.
The Arctic cold front driving the extreme temperatures is expected to moderate in the coming days. The weather service forecasts highs in the 20s and 30s and lows above zero through the weekend.
Forecasts also call for a chance of snow through Friday, with Helena seeing 1-2 inches of snowfall.
This story has been corrected to reflect Helena's low temperature of minus 30 on Monday.