What is the Windiest City in Montana? The Answer May Surprise You
I embarked on a Montana adventure this past weekend. As someone born and raised here in Montana, I have not seen all of it. So, I packed up the fiancé, the dog and our archery gear and set off to a portion of Montana that I have never been. Our goal was to harvest a pronghorn antelope using our archery equipment. Though it seemed intimidating to take off to an unfamiliar portion of the state, it sure made for a great adventure. If only it wasn't for the wind.
Our antelope permits are good for an area southeast of Great Falls. I joked on the ride there, that we are going to be in one of the windiest parts of the state, and should bring a sail to increase our gas mileage. When we arrived it was a beautiful calm day, with not even a slight breeze. It seemed peculiar at first, but by the next morning, we were reminded of the wind's wrath. Wind gust that would nearly blow you over, if you didn't brace yourself. Which really made it hard to hunt.
Growing up in Billings, I never really knew a person could live somewhere that the wind doesn't constantly blow. When I moved to Missoula, I was "blown away" that the wind wasn't blowing EVERYDAY. Seemed almost weird. Even though we are known to get some strong wind gusts blowing through the valleys.
But, the question is "What is the windiest city in Montana?"
Of course, people like to lean on Great Falls as being the "windy city." But, it surprisingly is not the worst for wind. Great Falls only averages an annual wind speed of 12.1 mph. The state average is 8.9 mph. In fact, Great Falls only comes in at 5th place for the windiest city in Montana. Livingston claims the top spot with a 15.2 mph average. Followed by Harlowton (13.6 mph), Cut Bank (12.7 mph), and Roy (12.2 mph).
To put it all into perspective, Missoula boasts only a 4.1 mph average.
Fun fact: The fastest wind gust ever recorded in Montana was a whopping 143 mph. It was recorded on February 21s, 2002 at the Miller Colony near Choteau, MT. Talk about some hurricane-force winds.