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Trip Planner USA  /  Montana  /  Big Timber

Big Timber

State Parks · Specialty Museums · Landmarks
Big Timber is a city in and the county seat of Sweet Grass County, Montana, United States. The population was 1,641 at the 2010 census.Big Timber takes its name from Big Timber Creek, which was named by William Clark because of the large cottonwood trees. The post office was established in 1880, closed, then reopened in 1882 with Ella Burns as postmaster. As a stop on the Northern Pacific Railroad, Big Timber became a major wool-shipping depot. It became the county seat in 1895. A fire in 1908 destroyed half the commercial buildings and a third of the residential homes.GeographyBig Timber is located at .According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.95sqmi, of which, 0.92sqmi is land and 0.03sqmi is water.ClimateBig Timber has a cool semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) bordering on a humid continental climate (Dfb). Although winters can be frigid, frequent chinook winds will raise temperatures above 50F on an average twenty days between December and February, and have raised them to or above 68F on ten occasions during these months since 1894. The chinooks mean Big Timber’s 31.3 days per year failing to top freezing is among the fewest in Montana, with the average window for such maxima being from November 11 to March 18. In the absence of chinooks, temperatures fall to 0F on seventeen mornings during an average winter, although such temperatures were reached just once in 1999/2000 but as many as thirty-four times during the very cold winters of 1935/1936 and 1978/1979. The average window for zero temperatures is from December 4 to February 25. The coldest temperature in Big Timber has been −47F during the notorious 1936 cold wave on February 15, whilst February 1936 was also the coldest month on record at 5.0F, shading January 1916 which averaged 5.5F.
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