Advertisement

Record snowstorm unleashes foot of snow in northern Rockies

By Chaffin Mitchell & Adriana Navarro, Accuweather.com
Record snowstorm unleashes foot of snow in northern Rockies
Homestake Pass in Rocky Mountains of Montana was hit by several inches of snow Saturday. Great Falls, which is 158 miles north of Homestake pass, had a preliminary snowfall of 9.7 inches, on Saturday,

Sept. 29 (UPI) --

Advertisement

The northern Rockies were blasted with the first big snowstorm of the season, which the National Weather Service described a "historic winter storm."

Gov. Steve Bullock issued an executive order declaring a winter storm emergency in Montana on Sunday.

"The storm brought heavy, wet snow with accumulation amounts up to three feet in some locations. High winds have downed trees and power lines resulting in road closures, emergency travel conditions, intermittent cellular service and power outages," the governor's office said in a news release.

The seasonably cold temperatures will delay snowmelt in some areas and bring the end of the growing season for some agricultural producers, the news release said.

Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories were in effect for parts of the northern Rockies, Cascades, and Sierra Nevada early Sunday morning as snow continued to fall.

Highways across northwestern Montana experienced reduced visibility due to blowing and drifting snow over the weekend.

Advertisement

There was at least one vehicular accident amid slippery roads. Montana Highway Patrol trooper Amanda Villa posted on Twitter a car that had slipped into a ditch and flipped over. Villa reported that everyone who had been in the vehicle was okay.

A preliminary snowfall of 9.7 inches fell in Great Falls, Mont., on Saturday, which beat the daily record of 6.1 inches set in 1954. This also is the earliest date of a snowfall of 9.7 inches or greater, with the previous earliest date being November 8, 2012.

The NWC Great Falls reported an additional 4.3 inches Sunday.

Snow will continue to pile up in the city into Sunday night.

Missoula, Mont., recorded a trace of snow on Saturday, which is the first time a trace of snow has ever been recorded on the date. On Sunday, 1.6 inches of snow had fallen over Missoula by noon local time, breaking the city's all-time September snowfall record of 1.5 inches set in 1934.

As of Sunday morning, Spokane, Wash., had received 3.1 inches of snow. Before this event, the snowiest September on record was in 1926 when 1.4 inches fell.

Advertisement

The highest snowfall amount as of Sunday afternoon was 40 inches, which is more than 3 feet, in Browning, Mont. Browning Public Schools announced they will be closed on Monday.

A total of 15 inches of snow was reported near Kiowa, Mont., while another report found that East Glacier Park, Mont., had received 21 inches of snow.

By early afternoon local time on Saturday, 13 inches of snow had been reported near Choteau, Mont. The report also mentioned that ice has started to cover highways that were previously plowed.

Officials in Choteau reported numerous downed power lines and trees due to severe wind on Saturday around noon, which created dangerous conditions.

Ahead of the storm, Glacier National Park in Montana announced road closures. While St. Mary Campground remains open, "camping not advised" signs have been put in place.

In the wake of the snow, those left without power or cleaning up storm debris will face bitterly cold conditions with record lows challenged on Sunday night and Monday night.

Advertisement

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement