Average Weather in Missoula Montana, United States
In Missoula, the summers are short, warm, and mostly clear; the winters are freezing and partly cloudy; and it is dry year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 18°F to 87°F and is rarely below 2°F or above 96°F.
The hot season lasts for 2.7 months, from June 18 to September 10, with an average daily high temperature above 75°F. The hottest day of the year is July 27, with an average high of 87°F and low of 54°F.
The cold season lasts for 3.4 months, from November 14 to February 24, with an average daily high temperature below 41°F. The coldest day of the year is January 1, with an average low of 18°F and high of 30°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
In Missoula, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Missoula begins around June 14 and lasts for 3.9 months, ending around October 10. On July 23, the clearest day of the year, the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 78% of the time, and overcast or mostly cloudy 22% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around October 10 and lasts for 8.1 months, ending around June 14. On January 10, the cloudiest day of the year, the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 66% of the time, and clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 34% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Missoula varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 7.5 months, from November 10 to June 25, with a greater than 26% chance of a given day being a wet day. The chance of a wet day peaks at 36% on June 4.
The drier season lasts 4.5 months, from June 25 to November 10. The smallest chance of a wet day is 15% on July 26.
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 Missoula changes throughout the year.
Rain alone is the most common for 11 months, from January 11 to December 9. The highest chance of a day with rain alone is 36% on June 4.
Snow alone is the most common for 1.1 months, from December 9 to January 11. The highest chance of a day with snow alone is 11% on December 24.
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. Missoula experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Missoula. The most rain falls during the 31 days centered around June 1, with an average total accumulation of 2.3 inches.
The least rain falls around January 22, with an average total accumulation of 0.6 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. Missoula experiences some seasonal variation in monthly liquid-equivalent snowfall.
The snowy period of the year lasts for 4.8 months, from October 31 to March 24, with a sliding 31-day liquid-equivalent snowfall of at least 0.1 inches. The most snow falls during the 31 days centered around January 1, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.7 inches.
The snowless period of the year lasts for 7.2 months, from March 24 to October 31. The least snow falls around July 30, with an average total liquid-equivalent accumulation of 0.0 inches.
Average Liquid-Equivalent Monthly Snowfall
The length of the day in Missoula varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2017, the shortest day is December 21, with 8 hours, 32 minutes of daylight; the longest day is June 20, with 15 hours, 53 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight
The earliest sunrise is at 5:40 AM on June 15, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 43 minutes later at 8:23 AM on November 4. The earliest sunset is at 4:47 PM on December 10, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 47 minutes later at 9:34 PM on June 25.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Missoula during 2017, starting in the spring on March 12, lasting 7.8 months, and ending in the fall on November 5.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The perceived humidity level in Missoula, 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
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.The average hourly wind speed in Missoula does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining within 0.2 miles per hour of 2.3 miles per hour throughout.
Average Wind Speed
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Missoula is from the west throughout the year.
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
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 3.2 months, from May 15 to August 21, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.3 kWh. The brightest day of the year is July 8, with an average of 7.6 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.5 months, from October 28 to February 14, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.6 kWh. The darkest day of the year is December 24, with an average of 1.3 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Missoula are 46.872 deg latitude, -113.994 deg longitude, and 3,264 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Missoula contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 1,870 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 3,393 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (4,846 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (7,244 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Missoula is covered by artificial surfaces (44%), sparse vegetation (34%), and grassland (12%), within 10 miles by sparse vegetation (27%) and shrubs (27%), and within 50 miles by trees (43%) and sparse vegetation (23%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Missoula, 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 4 weather stations near enough to contribute to our estimation of the temperature and dew point in Missoula.
For each station, the records are corrected for the elevation difference between that station and Missoula 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 Missoula is computed as the weighted average of the individual contributions from each station, with weights proportional to the inverse of the distance between Missoula and a given station.
The stations contributing to this reconstruction are: Missoula International Airport (96%, 9 kilometers, northwest); Bert Mooney Airport (1.3%, 153 kilometers, southeast); Helena Regional Airport (1.4%, 158 kilometers, east); and Lemhi County Airport (1.0%, 196 kilometers, south).
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Tables of the Sun, Moon and Planets , by Jean Meeus.
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.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for aiports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © Esri, with data from National Geographic, Esri, DeLorme, NAVTEQ, UNEP-WCMC, USGS, NASA, ESA, METI, NRCAN, GEBCO, NOAA, and iPC.