Early February may have felt like an early spring for most of Montana, but now, National Weather Service meteorologist Marty Whitmore says weeks of cold weather are in store.

"It's going to be colder than normal through the first ten days or so of March," Whitmore said. "How cold is a tougher forecast, but I think we are looking at at least a couple surges of arctic air through the end of February and the first or second of March. Some areas, especially along the divide will be seeing near record lows, although, those places are used to getting cold temperatures in February and March so their record is pretty low already."

The cold is due to a high pressure system which was covering the region, but has since retreated out over the pacific.

"In the upper midwest and east, they were having storm after storm, colder than normal, much more snow than normal, because they were in that northerly flow that plunged out of Canada, downstream of the ridge.That ridge was parked over us, bringing dry, warm temperatures. Well, that ridge has pulled back to the west and now we are getting that arctic flow plunging down from Canada."

It is difficult to predict climate changes more than fourteen days in advance, but Whitmore says he expects the high pressure ridge to move back over Montana by mid-march.