The winter has been fairly mild through January in the Bitterroot Valley. Many days of fog, some rain showers, a snow flurry or two and blue sky. We've even seen some Northern Lights this season. The mountains, meanwhile, have been getting great gobs of snow for the downhill and cross country skiers. The Darby Dog Derby had fine conditions for their annual weekend races, too.

The rest of Montana has not been as lucky, with sub-zero temperatures more than a couple of times and some pretty rotten driving conditions. But, we still have more winter to come. February has always brought surprises to us in the past. This year those surprises have been in the rest of the country (snow in the south?), so we should be on alert. But when you have days like in the photo, you gotta smile. In Hamilton, I even saw a guy driving his convertible with the top down today, with afternoon temperatures in the 60s.

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