Astronomical summer might not end for another day, but high-elevation areas in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming all saw their first snowfalls of the season this weekend, with more snow showers in the forecast.
September snowfalls are not particularly uncommon in parts of the West. Denver, which has recorded significant September snowfalls in the not-too-distant past, still averages 1 inch of snow during the month of September. According to the National Park Service, Yellowstone averages a half-inch of snowfall during the month of September.
Snow showers made it all the way down to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, where AccuWeather forecasts an additional coating to an inch of snowfall. At Big Sky Resort, a popular skiing destination in Montana, the early-season snowfall lightly covered some of the resort's ski trails.
A time-lapse video shows clouds rolling over Lone Mountain, home to Big Sky Resort, before the mountain is enveloped by a wall of white. When the mountain emerges from the thick cloud cover, it has been whitened by snowfall. Still, ski season at Big Sky does not typically begin until around the Thanksgiving holiday, so don't dig out the ski poles from your closet yet.
The early-season snowfall that struck the region came as temperatures plummeted 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit below normal, pushing snow levels to 7,000 feet.
The snowfall that struck wasn't particularly heavy for the region, but it made for pretty sights across parts of the Rocky Mountains, including outside Grand Teton, Wyo. Along parts of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, which helps to connect the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, the National Weather Service estimates that up to 8 inches of snow fell.
Despite the snowfall out West, most parts of the country still have a long way to go before winter begins. Astronomical winter does not start until Dec. 21, although cold weather and snowfall are certainly possible across vast swaths of the country before that date.
Still, with seasonable temperatures and thunderstorms still forecast across much of the eastern United States in the coming days, it is definitely not yet time to get out your snow boots.
Instead, get ready for pumpkin patches and fall foliage, which is starting to take off across higher elevations and northern parts of the country. Read AccuWeather's 2021 fall foliage forecast to see how vibrant the colors are expected to be in your area.
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