Bozeman has hit a new low for March.

The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport shattered a record for the lowest temperature in March, said Dave Bernhardt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Bernhardt said the airport’s Monday low was recorded at minus 39, breaking the previous March record of 32 below zero, set in 1955. The all-time low at the airport is minus 46, and Bernhardt said that has happened several times — Feb. 7, 1936, Jan. 26, 1957, and Dec. 24, 1983.

Temperatures at Montana State University’s campus dropped to minus 22, breaking a daily record set at 16 below zero on March 3, 1896.

The all-time low at MSU’s campus is minus 43 set on Feb. 8, 1936.

And the record lows were not unique to Bozeman.

Bernhardt said Elk Park, located north of Butte, got down to 46 below zero Monday morning, possibly setting a record low for Montana in March. Bernhardt said a national committee would have to verify the temperature before it could be called a record-breaker.

The state’s record low for the month is minus 45 set in Glasgow in 1897.

Because of extreme low temperatures, Bozeman Public Schools delayed all school start times and bus schedules by two hours. By the afternoon, dismissal and bus routes returned to regular schedules.

Steve Johnson, deputy superintendent of Bozeman schools, said the school district decided to delay start times because it was predicted that temperatures would rise once the sun came out. In his 33 years working with the school district, Johnson said he can’t remember having to delay start times.

Despite the sun shining through Monday afternoon, the temperature hovered around zero, keeping roads around town icy. However, the slightly higher temperatures got Bozemanites out sledding, walking their dogs and taking in the sun.

Thomas Pepe, a weather service meteorologist, predicted this week temperatures would gradually warm by Thursday and Friday. Pepe said temperatures would likely hover around the 30s by then, and fluctuate between the 20s and 30s for the weekend.

The Antarctic-like temperatures follow the snowiest February on record for Bozeman, according to the weather service. The Bozeman area’s average February snowfall was 26.6 inches, exceeding the record of 21.5 inches set last year.

Freddy Monares can be reached at or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.

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