Record-Breaking Snowstorm Buries Parts of Western Montana
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
While the southeast U.S. basked in summer-like weather this past weekend, Missoula, Montana, broke an 85-year-old record for September snowfall on Sunday.
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Although more than three feet of snow fell on the city since Friday, “As of 12 PM MDT, Missoula, MT, has officially broken the All-time September Snowfall record, measuring in at 1.6 inches!! This breaks the old record of 1.5 inches set in 1934,” the U.S. National Weather Service reported on its Facebook page.
“Sunday also marked the snowiest 29th of September,” noted KPAX TV, which covers Missoula and western Montana.
Sunday also broke another record in Missoula -- the high temperature for the day was the lowest it's ever been -- less than 40 degrees, KPAX added.
Montana Governor Declares State of Emergency due to Snowstorm
On Sunday, Montana Governor Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency.
“With an unprecedented winter storm throwing our state a surprise in September, state and local governments are working closely together to protect the health and safety of Montanans and our top priority is making sure that happens,” Bullock said.
“Montanans should heed all warnings from state and local officials, travel safely, and be cautious during this time,” he advised.
National Weather Service Predicts ‘Hard Freeze’ through Thursday
The NWS Forecast Office in Missoula predicted a “hard freeze” for the area through Thursday. Temperatures were expected to range between 34 degrees (1 Celsius) and 45 degrees (7 Celsius). Residents were warned of possible frozen hoses, irrigation systems and sprinklers.
Saturday’s 9.7-inch snowstorm in Great Falls set a daily and one-day September record. “More snowfall on Sunday brought the storm total in Great Falls to 19.3 inches,” the NWS added.
Four Feet of Snow in Browning Closes Schools and Colleges
The National Weather Service in Great Falls said, “As of 9 pm Sunday, September 29th, 4 feet (48.0”) of snow has fallen in the City of Browning, MT.”
Browning Public Schools in the Blackfeet Reservation would be closed on Monday “to allow emergency crews time to dig out and make entryways and travel for buses safe,” Public Information Officer James McNeely announced. “In addition, Blackfeet Community College and Blackfeet Tribal offices will be closed on Monday.”
The Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Glacier County and Pondera County also issued local emergency declarations.