Helena, MT -

A National Weather Service meteorologist says the cold snap hitting much of the West has set or matched record low temperatures in parts of Montana.

Dave Bernhardt says temperatures in Great Falls were recorded at minus 22 on Wednesday and minus 26 early Thursday. Both readings broke records going back to 1972 and 1980.

Denton also set a record at minus 23 Thursday morning and Havre's minus 27 reading matched a record that has stood since 1936.

Bernhardt says temperatures dropped below minus 30 degrees overnight in places along the Hi-Line, the Little Belt Mountains and in pockets of the southern valleys.

A southerly jet stream is allowing arctic air to settle in across much of the West and Midwest. The cold snap is expected to last through the weekend.