February is a cold winter month in Montana with the average temperatures in the cold 5°F (-15°C) to 40°F (4.4°C) zone across different regions of the state. The eastern portion of the state usually harbors cold air that is unable to pass to the west side most of the time due to the tall mountains of the Continental divide - sometimes the cold mass escapes through passes like Rogers Pass, Marias Pass, and other low elevation mountain passes and brings severe cold to northwest Montana's valley regions. Snowstorms and blizzards are frequent during the winter, and highways have snow fences in many places to shield from the snow. The weather is irregular with vast differences in temperatures - two places that lie near each other may even see a difference of 50 degrees when separated by a tall mountain. Cloud cover and wind speed increase in winter, while rain takes the form of ice and snow. Overall, expect snow and ice cover in most places with slanting sunrays and chilly weather.