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Montana After Cold Weather and Snowstorms

Back in late November, I shared a number of pictures from around Montana, after a light snowfall but before major storms really worked their way through the state. At the time, our temperatures were still warm and if I remember, the coldest temperatures were still in the low 20s. That is quite warm.

As I’ve said many times, our cold weather usually strikes us in February. That isn’t to say that we didn’t get snow in December and January. We did. In fact, both months registered more snow on the ground than in an average year. 

On cue, February turned cold and even snowier. In the last week alone, we’ve had several daily lows that were below zero and we’ve had a couple of days when it barely got above zero for a high temperature. Most of that time, it was snowing, off and on. By the way, don’t buy into the myth that it doesn’t snow when temperatures drop below zero. The coldest temperature I’ve personally ever seen when it has been snowing was -37 F.

I’m now set to show the contrast between late November/December and mid-February after the cold weather and snowstorms have been through (and more are coming through)..


What do you think?


Written by Rex Trulove

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    • I’m glad that you liked the pictures. A couple inches of snow can be a lot in some places, though. Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon can almost grind to a halt with two inches of snow. Here in Montana, two inches of snow is a minor snowstorm. LOL Two inches is enough to close schools in Seattle or Portland. They won’t close schools here for two feet of snow. The will close schools if the temperatures drop to 20 below, but not due to snow.

      That last picture, Many Glacier, is beautiful any time of the year. It is one of the draws for Glacier NP.

      • That is a park (Glacier) that I have long wanted to visit. It always fell to the back of the list when I was out west.

        I was in Seattle twice when it ground to a halt. The first time was the earthquake of 10 or so years ago. The city shut down, airport shut down.

        The second was a very minor snow storm. I ended up being the only person on the around several times that day.

        • In Seattle, earthquakes are more frequent than snow. People always talk about San Francisco and LA when the talk about earthquakes, but Seattle registers earthquakes on a daily basis. Big ones are rarer, but they still do happen. I think I remember the one you are talking about. They actually shut down the space needle for fear of collapse.

          Seattle is getting more snow right now, on top of a large amount that fell a couple days ago. That is part of the storm that we have coming in. In a few days, it will have swept across the north and as far south as Tennessee.

  1. Well, Rex you are not alone in that white stuff. We were dumped some 45 cm (1.5 foot) in a 24 hour period along with blowing weeds and cold weather which just started Tuesday late afternoon till Wednesday afternoon. But today on Thursday, the weather is bright and sunny and the snow plows have again pushed off the excess snow on the sides. We now have what looks like small mountainsides of snow along both sides of our street now. But beware, we are apparently going to get a mixture of snow, rain and freezin rain this weekend. One thing I do not like about winter is freezing rain and I do not know how to skate and I do not like to slip and slide away. Still I enjoyed most of this winter as I always do.

    • We also got warmer, actually above freezing, with sunny skies and we may have some of the same today. However, there is a huge amount of moisture flowing in from the Pacific. California is getting a huge amount of rain in the lower country and snow in the Sierras. Oregon and Washington are also both getting lots of rain and snow in the mountains, so the moisture flow is widespread. Add to that a dip in the jetstream that is bringing cold air in from the Gulf of Alaska and we are likely to get a few more feet of snow.

      Freezing rain can make it treacherous. We’ve had our share of that, too, coating everything in ice and even freezing our car doors shut. Although it isn’t easy to walk or drive on, there is an upside of the freezing rain, though. It put a layer of ice on top of the snow, so the snow takes longer to melt. That is going to be important here later on when the temperatures finally warm up. Last year, it really didn’t warm up until July, when it got hot in a hurry, but it is normally warm here in early May.

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