Average Weather in Columbia Falls Montana, United States
In Columbia Falls, the summers are short, warm, and partly cloudy and the winters are freezing and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 17°F to 83°F and is rarely below -3°F or above 92°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Columbia Falls for warm-weather activities is from early July to mid August.
The warm season lasts for 2.8 months, from June 17 to September 9, with an average daily high temperature above 72°F. The hottest day of the year is August 2, with an average high of 83°F and low of 51°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.5 months, from November 14 to February 28, with an average daily high temperature below 39°F. The coldest day of the year is December 29, with an average low of 17°F and high of 28°F.
Average High and Low Temperature
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature
Hriňová, Slovakia (5,196 miles away); Klisura, Bulgaria (5,666 miles); and Evren, Turkey (6,107 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Columbia Falls (view comparison).
In Columbia Falls, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Columbia Falls begins around June 11 and lasts for 4.0 months, ending around October 10. On July 27, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 77% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 23% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 10 and lasts for 8.0 months, ending around June 11. On January 9, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 74% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 26% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Columbia Falls varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 8.3 months, from October 23 to July 1, with a greater than 26% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 37% on June 3.
The drier season lasts 3.7 months, from July 1 to October 23. The smallest chance of a wet day is 14% on July 25.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation in Columbia Falls changes throughout the year.
Rain alone is the most common for 11 months, from January 14 to December 13. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 37% on June 3.
Snow alone is the most common for 1.1 months, from December 13 to January 14. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 14% on December 27.
Daily Chance of Precipitation
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Columbia Falls experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Columbia Falls. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 7, with an average total accumulation of 2.8 inches.
The least rain falls around February 7, with an average total accumulation of 0.8 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall
We report snowfall in liquid-equivalent terms. The actual depth of new snowfall is typically between 5 and 10 times the liquid-equivalent amount, assuming the ground is frozen. Colder, drier snow tends to be on the higher end of that range and warmer, wetter snow on the lower end.
As with rainfall, we consider the snowfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Columbia Falls experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 5.6 months, from October 20 to April 7, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around December 29, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.9 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 6.4 months, from April 7 to October 20. The least snow falls around July 24, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Columbia Falls varies extremely over the course of the year. In 2020, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 19 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 16 hours, 6 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:34 AM on June 15, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 53 minutes later at 8:28 AM on December 31. The earliest sunset is at 4:41 PM on December 10, and the latest sunset is 5 hours, 0 minutes later at 9:42 PM on June 24.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Columbia Falls during 2020, starting in the spring on March 8, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 1.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
The perceived humidity level in Columbia Falls, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.
Humidity Comfort Levels
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
The average hourly wind speed in Columbia Falls does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining within 0.3 miles per hour of 4.3 miles per hour throughout.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Columbia Falls is from the west throughout the year.
Best Time of Year to Visit
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Columbia Falls throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Columbia Falls for general outdoor tourist activities is from early July to mid August, with a peak score in the last week of July.
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Columbia Falls for hot-weather activities is from mid July to mid August, with a peak score in the last week of July.
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
The growing season in Columbia Falls typically lasts for 4.0 months (123 days), from around May 19 to around September 19, rarely starting before April 30 or after June 7, and rarely ending before August 31 or after October 6.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Columbia Falls should appear around May 9, only rarely appearing before April 27 or after May 23.
Growing Degree Days
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.3 months, from May 8 to August 19, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.2 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 14, with an average of 7.5 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.7 months, from October 25 to February 16, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.3 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 23, with an average of 1.0 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Columbia Falls are 48.372 deg latitude, -114.182 deg longitude, and 3,071 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Columbia Falls contains only modest variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 322 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 3,061 feet. Within 10 miles contains only modest variations in elevation (4,449 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (10,390 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Columbia Falls is covered by sparse vegetation (39%), shrubs (36%), and artificial surfaces (12%), within 10 miles by trees (41%) and sparse vegetation (25%), and within 50 miles by trees (48%) and shrubs (23%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Columbia Falls, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Temperature and Dew Point
There are 3 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Columbia Falls.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Columbia Falls according to the International Standard Atmosphere , and by the relative change present in the MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis between the two locations.
The estimated value at Columbia Falls is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Columbia Falls and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Glacier Park International Airport (95%, 10 kilometers, southwest); Waterton Park Gate (3.4%, 89 kilometers, north); and Cut Bank Municipal Airport (2.0%, 136 kilometers, east).
All other weather data, including cloud cover, precipitation, wind speed and direction, and solar flux, come from NASA's MERRA-2 Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .