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Immediate Aftermath of Montana's September Snowstorm

I had actually intended on sharing these pictures several days ago. They all came from Monday, September 30, right after the snowstorms moved through Montana. None of these are from the hardest-hit areas because a number of webcams were non-operational due to the weather. In some cases, that was because of camera malfunctions, though the cameras are protected. In other cases, it was because the area was without power, due to the snowstorms.

Some parts of the state didn’t get much snow. Missoula only recorded an inch and a half, though that easily topped the records for the most snow there in September, set back in 1934. Other places in the state got up to four feet of snow.

Mount Apgar

I've shared this view many times before, but this is how Mount Apgar looked on Monday after the storms went through. A couple of things to note here. Although this location is at 5,236 feet, well above the snow line, there are about 2-3 inches of snow on the ground. Also, notice how far down on the mountains in the distance that the snow is.

The temperature was about 37° F when this image was captured so the snow was beginning to melt, but the clouds are snow clouds at the trailing end of the storms. At the temperature when this was taken, snow could still have fallen on Mount Apgar, even though this is above freezing. Many times, I've experienced snow when the temperatures were at 40° or slightly above.

Many Glacier was snowed in

Many Glacier is lower than Mount Apgar, but it got a lot more snow. Judging from the amount of snow on the pickup, it looks like this location got about 6 inches of the white stuff. There is enough snow here that the roadway can't be seen, except for the trail of tracks someone made while walking through it.

The temperature here was a little over 36°, so there was a potential for yet more snow. Thankfully, I didn't hear that they got any.

Logan Pass south

Logan Pass is higher than Mount Apgar and it got a lot more snow. The image is a little deceptive because the trees are taller than they appear. Notice, however, that the snowbank seems to cave in around the boulder in the lower right. This indicates that there were high winds that were swirling when the snow was falling here. I'd guess that the depth of the snow here was between 2-3 feet.

Lewistown west

This is the highway west of Lewistown. It has been plowed and the road surface is mostly clear of snow and ice. However, the road is quite wet. By an hour after dark on Monday night, this road was covered with a sheet of ice that made driving hazardous.

Again, none of these images are of the hardest-hit areas. I was unable to share those other views because the cameras were down due to the weather. None of the above are particularly unusual, except that these storms were in September and not late October or early November. It is believed that we are going to have yet another record-breaking winter in terms of snowfall amounts. If anyone is even thinking of traveling in Montana this winter, it is advised that they take every precaution possible. I sure plan to.

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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