National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

January 1, 1883: First written record of weather observations at Billings two years before city was incorporated. Observations taken by U.S. Army for six months.


April 18, 1894: Considered date of continuous observations. U.S. Weather Bureau was only 4 years old at this time. Station moved around to many locations until 1934.


1894-1898: Dr. E.P. Townsend was 1st weather observer. Observation equipment located on roof of the Savarsey Building located on Montana Avenue between North 28th and North 29th Streets. Tallest building (3 levels) in town at the time. Weather signal flags displayed on top of building. 

Weather Reports Billings 1894
Billings Weather Observations From April 1894





















1899-1902: I. D. O. Donnell and W.E. Baker became observers. Equipment moved to Maverick Hose Company (presently Northern Pacific Railroad) at Minnesota and 27th Street.


1902-1908: Martin Gates, Gust Eastman and J.C. Bond, volunteer firemen, took observations.


1908: Station moved to City Hall on 1st Ave and 28th Street and C.E. Steel, YMCA Secretary, became observer.


1909: Station moved yet again to 403 Yellowstone Avenue where C.S. Bell began taking observations.


1912-1920: D.J. Cole, owner of D.J. Cole Company at 2817 Montana Avenue, took over observations.


1921-1934: H.W. Peterson took observations at his residence at 505 Lewis Avenue.

Granger, Utah COOP 1930s
Granger, Utah COOP 1930s














1934: Billings Weather Bureau Office officially established at airport. Early area of responsibility included South Central and Southeastern Montana as well as Northwestern Wyoming, an area that was larger than New York and Pennsylvania. Responsibilities of the office eventually included daily forecasts, hourly aviation weather reports, fire weather forecasts, Yellowstone River basin forecasts, balloon observations, hourly and daily weather conditions, and aircraft observations, which cost $19.18 for each flight in 1934.

Billings Airport Office 1961
Billings Airport Office 1961














July 1, 1934: Billings Airport became official station for Billings.

First Official Weather Records Began July 1, 1934
First Official Observations Began July 1, 1934 at 3:10 AM









1934 to 1951: Arthur F. Salsbury recorded observations at his residence at 536 Lewis Avenue.

Arthur Salsbury
Arthur Salsbury and Wife



















1951: Station was moved to city water plant and remains there today.

Weather Station Moved from Salsbury Residence 1951
Station Moved From Salsbury Residence on October 18, 1951













1979: The Automation of Field Operations and Services (AFOS) system arrives at office, replacing teletype dissemination method. AFOS was a mainly text based system but graphics were also introduced.


1980s: First weather radar became operational.


1995: Office moves to its current location at 2170 Overland Avenue. Current Doppler radar also established. High tech, modern services also started to take shape including graphical forecast based systems, 7 day forecasts and extended outlooks, fire weather and aviation forecasting, and hydrologic and climate services. Along with the move from the airport, Sheridan was added to NWS Billings County Warning Area.

Opening Day of Current Office in 1995
Opening Day of Current Office May 31, 1996
















Opening Day Brochure May 31, 1996Opening Day Brochure May 31, 1996 Inside
Opening Day Dedication May 31, 1996


















2000: Current system, Advanced Weather Information Processing System (AWIPS), arrives. AWIPS is a technologically advanced information processing, display, and telecommunications system.