Hurricane Force Winds Cause Havoc Across Montana
Saturday (2/1) was a windy one across the state of Montana. Gusts around the Billings area topped out around 40 mph (although I saw a report of much stronger wind around Molt). According to the National Weather Service in Great Falls, Glacier County had wind gusts up to 106 miles per hour!
Wind speeds from 74 to 96 MPH classify as a Category 1 hurricane. 96 to 110 MPH would be a Category 2. That means much of northern Montana was basically experiencing a rain-free hurricane. Crazy, right? The insane winds caused serious issues with a grass fire between Harlowton and Judith Gap, causing officials to close the highway for hours.
A huge dust storm between Great Falls and Fort Benton left more than 50 cars stranded on Hwy 87. I saw tons of Facebook pics of trees that were blown over on houses and across highways. Hopefully the only thing you lost was a garbage can.