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Weather is always a mystery - especially when you live in a mountain town. It's a natural phenomenon that is influenced by global, regional, and local factors. Throw in the numerous mountain ranges in southwest Montana and you'll quickly realize that the Big Sky weather is always a moving target.
Beehive Basin | Visit Big Sky
Ask any meteorologist or any Big Sky local and they'll tell you that Big Sky weather is hard to forecast for. There are so many variables when it comes to predicting the Big Sky weather - pressure trends, wind speed and direction, precipitation, cloud cover, visibility, temperature, ceilings, seasons, and other factors that we only wished we could understand.
Unfortunately, no one can give you a concrete answer about what the day-to-day Big Sky weather will be like. Bluebird or greybird? Snowy or sunny? Thunderstorms or clear? Windy or calm? Instead, it's best to look at general trends. Summers are generally clear and sunny, winters are usually cold and snowy, and spring and fall are a mix of everything.
If you want to know what the weather is going to do each day or every hour, your best bet is to look out your window or utilize one of the Internet's numerous weather websites.
Plan your day based on these forecasts, but it's wise to only use these forecasts as a general guideline. Watch the weather when you're out and about. You don't what to get lost in a blizzard, stuck on a mountain during a lightning storm, go camping in the alpine in frigid temps, or wander near a wildfire in high winds. Weather usually rolls in from the west, so keep your eyes peeled and be aware of the constantly changing Big Sky weather.
Any local will tell you that you need to be prepared for any type of weather at any point in the year. We've all seen snow in July, rain in March, and be frigidly cold in September. But how does the saying go… if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes. It's going to change.
Big Sky As Seen From Yellow Mountain | Photo: D. Lennon
Also bear in mind that the weather in Town Center is different from weather on Lone Peak while you're skiing or in the Gallatin Canyon while you're fishing. A good rule of thumb is to subtract 3 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1000 feet of elevation you gain. For reference, Big Sky Town Center is roughly 6250'. The Mountain Village is 7,500'. Lone Peak is 11,166'. That's a big temperature swing, right?
We wish we could give you a straightforward answer as to what the Big Sky weather is really like, but no one can. Mountain weather is unpredictable, but that's part of what makes Big Sky life fun. Be prepared for any type of Big Sky weather and you'll have a good time while you're in Big Sky.