Will the 2023 ‘Brawl of the Wild’ Set Another Weather Record?
There's no way to know the final score, despite our best guess.
And although Montana football fans love to tackle the cold weather to end the season, the statistics show the annual showdown really hasn't been that cold over more than a century of play.
Last year was the outlier
National Weather Service Meteorologist Robert Nester says last year's game in Bozeman was far and away the coldest ever in the 114-year history of the series, as temperatures that morning plunged to 16 below zero.
Most showdowns haven't been all that cold
Nester says that's true, even when you throw in the games that were held in Butte from 1921 to 1951.
Out of all the games played in Bozeman, Butte, and Missoula, only 14 were played in less-than-freezing temperatures below 32 degrees. And Missoula has even been milder. Of the 14 games the Garden City has hosted since 1993, only two saw any snow and only twice was it below freezing.
This year will follow a mild pattern
Nester says the forecast for this Saturday's game is looking mild with "little in the way of adverse conditions" such as strong wind, cold, or snow. In fact, by game time fans should be able to enjoy temperatures in the 40s with a mix of sun and clouds.
'Cat fans who stay over might be driving back in a bit of snow on the passes. The forecast is for increasing clouds Saturday night with lower temperatures which could bring light snow accumulations at the higher elevations.
Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events
Gallery Credit: Brian Lee