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-70 Rogers Pass Montana record

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#1
Scott

Posted 09 March 2017 - 08:49 PM

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Does anyone here know much about this record?  There doesn't seem to be much information about it either online or anywhere else I have seen, other than the date and having it listed.

 

The thing about Rogers Pass is that I can find no such weather station at the pass and the one that is fairly close to the pass and has the name Rogers Pass is actually quite mild, especially by Montana standards:

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?mt7159

 

Although Rogers Pass supposedly recorded -70 on January 20, 1954, the next coldest reading I can find in the region is a much warmer -46.

 

 

Although places like West Yellowstone or Hebgen Dam do have extreme winter temperatures at times, the area around Rogers Pass seems much warmer in winter and is surprising that it would hold the Montana (and Lower 48) records.

 

Is there any other weather data available for Rogers Pass?

 

Is it possible that the -70 reading isn't valid?



#2
Eujunga

Posted 10 March 2017 - 09:02 PM

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I think the forensic zeal of true weather weenies such as yourself probably considerably outruns the meticulousness of the record-keepers of the time.

 

You'd think that something as significant as the all-time record for the Lower 48 would rate a bit more care, but I suspect it's entirely possible that the -70º number came out of someone's a$$.

 

After all, the 136º Libya and 134º Death Valley all-time records stood as gospel for decades before being debunked.

 

Your instincts and reasoning seem sound to me.


Tujunga, CA (15 miles N of Downtown L.A.) - Elev. 1,860 ft.

 

Eugene, OR (5 miles SSW) - Elev. 850 ft.


#3
wx_statman

Posted 12 March 2017 - 05:11 PM

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Does anyone here know much about this record?  There doesn't seem to be much information about it either online or anywhere else I have seen, other than the date and having it listed.

 

The thing about Rogers Pass is that I can find no such weather station at the pass and the one that is fairly close to the pass and has the name Rogers Pass is actually quite mild, especially by Montana standards:

 

http://www.wrcc.dri....iMAIN.pl?mt7159

 

Although Rogers Pass supposedly recorded -70 on January 20, 1954, the next coldest reading I can find in the region is a much warmer -46.

 

 

Although places like West Yellowstone or Hebgen Dam do have extreme winter temperatures at times, the area around Rogers Pass seems much warmer in winter and is surprising that it would hold the Montana (and Lower 48) records.

 

Is there any other weather data available for Rogers Pass?

 

Is it possible that the -70 reading isn't valid?

 

That record always seemed a bit suspect to me as well. 

 

That airmass was pretty remarkable if not short lived, but -70 is a bit of a stretch IMO. Helena hit -36, which was within 6F of its all-time record low, and Summit hit -53. Those are very impressive numbers that suggest that a reading in the -60 to -70 range was possible in an ideally situated cold-sink location somewhere in Montana. However, the location itself raises questions. Just how well was that station that recorded -70 sited? Its pretty telling that Rogers Pass 9NNE has never been below -46, although in a period of record that only extends to 1964. Exactly what was the documentation of that -70 reading? The equipment? The siting? It seems as though that reading was the product of a short-lived station, which may not have even qualified for official status under modern standards, had it been subjected to a formal review of the sort that the SCEC does today. 



#4
snow_wizard

Posted 12 March 2017 - 06:10 PM

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That record always seemed a bit suspect to me as well. 
 
That airmass was pretty remarkable if not short lived, but -70 is a bit of a stretch IMO. Helena hit -36, which was within 6F of its all-time record low, and Summit hit -53. Those are very impressive numbers that suggest that a reading in the -60 to -70 range was possible in an ideally situated cold-sink location somewhere in Montana. However, the location itself raises questions. Just how well was that station that recorded -70 sited? Its pretty telling that Rogers Pass 9NNE has never been below -46, although in a period of record that only extends to 1964. Exactly what was the documentation of that -70 reading? The equipment? The siting? It seems as though that reading was the product of a short-lived station, which may not have even qualified for official status under modern standards, had it been subjected to a formal review of the sort that the SCEC does today.


9 miles in the West could have the same effect on cold potential as 90 miles in a flat area. You would have to think the thermometer was either located in a bowl (sink) or the reading is bogus.
Death To Warm Anomalies!
 
winter.jpg

Winter 2016-17 Stats

Total snow = 9.8"
Days Min 32 or below = 61
Days Max 32 or below = 1
Days Max Below 40 = 29
Coldest Min = 16

#5
Scott

Posted 12 March 2017 - 08:34 PM

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 It seems as though that reading was the product of a short-lived station

 

 

Other than the -70 reading, I haven't been able to find any record of a station existing there.

 

fixedw_large_4x.jpg

 

The sign at the pass itself says that the reading was taken at a nearby mining camp, but I haven't been able to find anything on the weather station there (if there was one).

 

Maps show three historic mines in the general area.  One of them is on Sunset Mountain and it wouldn't be -70 there.  One is in Chambers Gulch, which also seems like an unlikely candidate.   There is an old mind along the Blackfoot River at 5300 feet elevation.   If the -70 really is genuine, maybe this is the location?   A reading near the river might be possible, but I can't see it on a hill or at the pass.   Still, by Montana standards, the area around Rogers Pass seems to have mild winters in comparison to other areas.


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#6
wx_statman

Posted 13 March 2017 - 01:03 AM

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Other than the -70 reading, I haven't been able to find any record of a station existing there.

 

fixedw_large_4x.jpg

 

The sign at the pass itself says that the reading was taken at a nearby mining camp, but I haven't been able to find anything on the weather station there (if there was one).

 

Maps show three historic mines in the general area.  One of them is on Sunset Mountain and it wouldn't be -70 there.  One is in Chambers Gulch, which also seems like an unlikely candidate.   There is an old mind along the Blackfoot River at 5300 feet elevation.   If the -70 really is genuine, maybe this is the location?   A reading near the river might be possible, but I can't see it on a hill or at the pass.   Still, by Montana standards, the area around Rogers Pass seems to have mild winters in comparison to other areas.

 

That's good info. That reading would definitely not be considered official today. Its pretty amazing what used to pass for credible temp observations back in the old days.


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#7
Front Ranger

Posted 13 March 2017 - 04:44 PM

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If this reading was indeed bogus, then the -66 recorded at Yellowstone National Park on 2/9/33 (both in WY and MT) would be the coldest temp on record in the continental U.S.


Cool anomalies soothe the soul.


#8
Scott

Posted 13 March 2017 - 07:50 PM

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If this reading was indeed bogus, then the -66 recorded at Yellowstone National Park on 2/9/33 (both in WY and MT) would be the coldest temp on record in the continental U.S.

 

 

Assuming one discounts Peter Sinks of course.

 

Anyway of interest, the -66 was actually recorded in Montana at the Riverside Ranger Station, near West Yellowstone, but it was very close to the Wyoming line.  Because Yellowstone is mostly in Wyoming, the reading often gets credited to Wyoming, but it was actually just in Montana.

 

The coldest temperature in Wyoming is actually -63 at Moran on February 9 1933, the same time the Riverside Ranger Station hit -66.



#9
Front Ranger

Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:07 PM

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Assuming one discounts Peter Sinks of course.

 

Anyway of interest, the -66 was actually recorded in Montana at the Riverside Ranger Station, near West Yellowstone, but it was very close to the Wyoming line.  Because Yellowstone is mostly in Wyoming, the reading often gets credited to Wyoming, but it was actually just in Montana.

 

The coldest temperature in Wyoming is actually -63 at Moran on February 9 1933, the same time the Riverside Ranger Station hit -66.

 

Ah, true. Why isn't that considered official again?


Cool anomalies soothe the soul.


#10
Scott

Posted 13 March 2017 - 08:40 PM

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Ah, true. Why isn't that considered official again?

 

 

Most sources do consider the reading to be official, but it is sometimes controversial since it is in an unpopulated location.