The three warmest cities in Montana are Thompson Falls, Billings, and Hardin.
In this article I’m going to share with you my ranking of the warmest places in Montana.
I created my list by researching data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other climate data providers.
Below I’m listing the top 10 warmest places in Montana that have the highest average yearly temperatures. Later in the article I share a table with 50 most populous cities in Montana.
Top 10 Warmest Cities in Montana
Here are the top 10 warmest places in Montana ranked by their daily mean temperature. While Montana is generally a cold state, a few places get slightly warmer temperatures than other parts of the state.
1. Thompson Falls – daily mean temperature of 48.35 °F
According to weather data collected by NOAA, Thompson Falls is the warmest city in Montana when we take into account its annual daily mean temperature. An average summer day sees highs of 78-88 °F and lows of 47-51 °F. Meanwhile, an average winter day gets temperatures of 35-42 °F and lows of 21-25 °F. Some cities in Montana get slightly warmer winter days in December and January but they have lower nighttime temperatures. This is why Thompson Falls is the warmest town in Montana.
2. Billings – daily mean temperature of 48.2 °F
Billings, the largest city in Montana, is the second warmest city in the state. While its average annual high is lower than in several other cities, it has warmer nighttime temperatures. The difference is very noticeable in the summer. Billings gets similarly cold winters to Thompson Falls and similarly hot weather during the day as Thompson Falls. However, the latter has crisp evenings and nights with cool 47-51 °F in the summer. Meanwhile, in Billings they don’t go below 52-59 °F. If you want to live in a big city in Montana with the best weather, Billings is one of your main options. Missoula would be the second best alternative with an annual daily mean temperature of 45.95 °F (over 2 degrees cooler).
3. Hardin – daily mean temperature of 47.75 °F
Hardin, located 46 miles east of Billings, is the third warmest city in Montana. While Billings has a humid continental climate bordering on semi-arid, Hardin has a true cold semi-arid climate. It gets half the amount of snowfall that Billings gets. It also has warmer average high temperatures in the summer, reaching 90-91 °F compared to 86-87 °F in Billings. In the cold season, Hardin gets noticeably colder nights than Billings (11-15 °F compared to 18-20 °F in Billings).
4. Laurel – daily mean temperature of 47.5 °F
Laurel, a town of about 7,200 people, is situated 18 miles southwest of Billings. It has a similar climate with winter temperatures that are about 2-3 degrees lower than in Billings, primarily at night.
5. Big Timber – daily mean temperature of 47 °F
Big Timber is the fifth warmest city in Montana. This small town of 1,650 residents is located in South Central Montana. It’s the closest town on this list to Yellowstone, situated about 148 miles northeast from West Yellowstone which is the closest town to Yellowstone National Park. Unlike West Yellowstone, which is the coldest town in Montana with a subarctic climate, Big Timber enjoys one of the state’s mildest weather with an average annual temperature that’s 12 °F higher. Big Timber has warm winters in particular, with daily highs of 37-40 °F and lows between 19-20 °F. For Montana’s standards, that’s mild winters.
6. Forsyth – daily mean temperature of 46.7 °F
Forsyth is a town of about 1,600 inhabitants, located 100 miles northeast of Billings. The city has a cold semi-arid climate with noticeably colder winter than Billings and slightly hotter summers. Like Hardin, it gets much less snow than Billings does.
7. Fort Benton – daily mean temperature of 46.7 °F
Fort Benton is located in North-Central Montana. It’s a town of about 1,500 residents situated on the Missouri River, in an area known as the Golden Triangle. It has some of the coldest winter nighttime temperatures out of all the ten cities featured in this ranking, dropping to just 10 °F in the coldest month (January).
8. Libby – daily mean temperature of 46.65 °F
Libby is a town of about 2,800 residents, located in Northwestern Montana. It’s situated between the Cabinet Mountains to the south and the Purcell Mountains to the north, right by the Kootenai National Forest and 30 miles east of the border with Idaho and its panhandle. It has a continental climate with noticeably warmer springs than most cities in the top ten.
9. Roundup – daily mean temperature of 46.5 °F
Roundup lies 50 miles north of Billings. About 1,700 people call the town home. It has winters with daytime temperatures similar to Big Timber and colder nights. In the summer, due to its semi-arid climate, its daily highs are higher by about two degrees than in most cities in this ranking. It has cool nights in the warmest months, though, with temperatures dropping to 48-53 °F.
10. Polson – daily mean temperature of 46.45 °F
Polson, a city of 5,000 people in northwestern Montana, is situated by the largest natural freshwater body of water in the western United States (Flathead Lake). Because of the proximity, its climate is moderated, with milder winters and cooler summers (with average highs reaching 82 °F at most) than other cities in the area. If you’re looking for more moderate summers but still a high annual daily mean temperature, Polson could be an option for you.
50 Biggest Cities in Montana Ranked by Daily Mean Temperature
I created the table below by researching data for the most populous municipalities in Montana. When I couldn’t find data for a given city, I moved on to another. While the list includes 50 cities, some of the bigger cities may be missing because there was no data for them. Please check the closest geographically city then.
|City||Average high temperature (°F)||Average low temperature (°F)||Daily mean temperature (°F)|
|White Sulphur Springs||55.2||29.2||42.2|
Check the Warmest Cities in Neighboring States
If you’re interested in learning about the warmest cities in states neighboring Montana, check out the following articles:
- What Are the Warmest Cities in Idaho?
- What Are the Warmest Cities in North Dakota?
- What Are the Warmest Cities in South Dakota?
- What Are the Warmest Cities in Wyoming?
Also check my article on the warmest cities in the US in every state. You may be also interested in the coldest cities in the US or learn about other cold weather states in my article on best states for weather.
Frequently Asked Questions
The warmest parts of Montana is northwestern Montana (Thompson Falls, Libby, and Polson) and southeastern Montana with cities like Billings, Hardin, Laurel, and Big Timber. None of the warmest areas of Montana are warm year round, though. Temperatures below freezing and snow in winter are guaranteed even in places considered to have less extreme climate like the Bitterroot Valley or the Tobacco Valley (so-called “banana belt”).
The small town of Big Timber in South Central Montana has a cool semi-arid climate that gives it the mildest winters in Montana. Average highs in winter are between 37-40 °F (maximum temperatures on warmer days may be higher) while lows are between 19-20 °F. Another place with mild winters is Thompson Falls in Northwestern Montana with colder average high temperatures in January and December (35 °F) but warmer February (42 °F). It also has slightly warmer winter nights between 21-25 °F. If you’re looking for a warm winter, that’s as warm as you’ll be able to find it in Montana.
The average annual temperature for 50 biggest cities in Montana is 44.1 °F. Meanwhile, for 50 biggest cities in Idaho that’s 46.74 °F, making Idaho slightly warmer. Both states are well below the national average temperature of 52.7 °F (excluding Hawaii and Alaska).
In the warmest regions of Montana, winters last between November and March/April. Snow my fall as early as October and as late as May, though. Freezing temperatures at night start in November and are usually gone by April.
The highest recorded temperature in Montana was on July 5, 1937 in Medicine Lake in northeast Montana when the temperature reached 117 °F.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?